McDonald’s Offers No Surprises (MCD, YUM, SBUX)

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Same-store sales in US McDonald’s Inc. (NYSE: MCD) stores rose 8.9% in the first quarter, substantially higher the 5.5% rise in same-store sales in the company’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region and the 5% rise in Europe. The company attributed the US growth to sales of its classic menu, innovative menu offerings, newly remodeled stores, and good weather. The only thing unusual about that list is the shout-out to the weather.

Excluding currency effects McDonald’s total sales rose 7% in the quarter, identical with growth in total sales at Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), which reported earnings on Wednesday. Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reports earnings next week and is expected to post revenues of $3.18 billion, a jump of 14% over the same period a year ago.

Overall, McDonald’s posted EPS of $1.23, right in line with the consensus estimate, on revenue of $6.55 billion, slightly ahead of the consensus estimate of $6.54 billion. The EPS estimate for next quarter is $1.44 on revenues of $7.15 billion. Good weather is not likely to offer much of boost in the current quarter, so the company better have something else up its sleeve.

McDonald’s shares are up about 1.7% in the pre-market at $96.95, in a 52-week range of $76.50-$102.22.

Paul Ausick