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McDonald’s 4Q U.S. same-store sales rise 4.5%

McPick 2 value platform and Buttermilk Crispy Tenders drive results, company says

McDonald’s Corp. reported its best same-store-sales gain in six years as value improvements and new menu introductions gained traction in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the company said Tuesday.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based quick-service operator’s fourth-quarter earnings and revenue exceeded analyst forecasts. U.S. same-store sales rose 4.5 percent, better than the expected 4.3-percent growth. 

"2017 was a strong year for McDonald's as customers responded to the many ways we are making their experience more convenient and enjoyable,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

"We served more customers more often, achieved our best comparable sales performance in six years, gained share in markets around the world and made tremendous progress with growth platforms such as delivery, mobile order and pay, and Experience of the Future.” 

In an earnings release, the company cited its McPick 2 value platform, strong consumer response to the introduction of Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and delivery for the same-store sales gain.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, McDonald's net income fell 41 percent, to $698.7 million, or 87 cents per share, from $1.19 billion, or $1.44 per share, a year ago. Earnings in the latest quarter were trimmed 84 cents per share because of changes in U.S. tax law. Excluding those items, McDonald’s reported earnings of $1.71 per share, which was 12 cents higher than the $1.59 per share that analysts expected, according to EarningsWhisper. 

Revenue fell 11.4 percent, to $5.3 billion, from $6 billion in the previous year. Analysts had estimated revenue of $5.22 billion. 

For the full fiscal 2017 year, global same-store sales rose 5.3 percent. 

The company’s stock was down less than 1 percent in pre-market trading Tuesday. 

McDonald's has about 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. More than 90 percent of its restaurants are franchised.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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