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McDonald’s 3rd-Q profit up 27%

OAK BROOK Ill. McDonald’s Corp. reported an earnings jump of 27 percent for its third quarter ended Sept. 30, which it credited to strong sales of coffee, breakfast, burgers, snack wraps, as well as to convenience.

As the company projected last week, net income totaled $1.07 billion, or 89 cents per share, compared with $843.3 million, or 68 cents per share, in the year-ago third quarter. The company’s latest per-share earnings included 83 cents from continuing operations and an after-tax gain of 6 cents per share from the sale of Boston Market.

Revenue of $5.9 billion was up 7 percent from a year ago, but came in a bit below the $6.04 billion that analysts had predicted. Global same-store sales increased 6.9 percent. The highest same-store sales rise occurred in McDonald’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division, which posted a jump of 11.4 percent, its best result in a decade. The company credited affordability, convenience and locally relevant menu choices for that region’s especially strong results.

In the United Sates, McDonald’s said results were fueled by value-driven initiatives. “For the quarter, McDonald’s U.S. generated strong operating income growth despite industry-wide commodity and labor headwinds,” the company reported.

Still, U.S. margins declined by 0.6 percent, mainly because of higher food and labor costs, according to analyst John Glass of Boston’s CIBC World Markets. Systemwide, McDonald’s posted a 1-percent jump in restaurant margins.

“At this clip, McDonald’s is growing earnings per share faster than Starbucks, Yum Brands and even many of our small-cap growth names,” Glass noted. “So much for being mature.”

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