More Good News At McDonald’s (MCD)

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How the little children love Ronald McDonald. Now investors love him, too.

In the third quarter, global comparable store sales increased 7.1%, which is pretty hard to do when a company is as large as McDonald’s (MCD) and the economy is rough.

Earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.05, a 27% increase over the prior year.

North America, where results should have been hurt most by the recession did fine. McDonald’s U.S. had highest sales increase of 2008, with third quarter comparable sales up 4.7% and operating income growth of 9%.

Europe generated strong top-line sales in virtually every market, posting a comparable sales increase of 8.2% along with operating income growth of 23%

Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa’s third quarter results were led by Australia and China. Operating income rose 28% for the quarter, fueled by a 7.8% comparable sales increase.

Worldwide revenue was up 6% to 6.3 billion.

Douglas A. McIntyre