McDonald's released first quarter earnings today showing an increase in global comparable sales by 4.2%. Specifically, U.S. comparable sales improved 1.5%, Europe up 5.2%, and Asia/Pacific Middle EAst and Africa up 5.7% Combined operating margin jumped 220 basis points to 29.8%. Diluted earnings for the quarter increased 15% (9% constant currencies) to $1.00. Sharepurchases and dividends put 1 billion dollars back into investors hands. Improved profits were attributed to McCafe beverages, the Breakfast Dollar Menu, and Chicken McNuggets. Stock price hit a new 52 week high of $71.19 today after the announcement. The company is doing a good job promoting new menu items as well as supporting sales with classic and bargain priced foods. Prices already pushed past my valuation of $69. This earnings release shows solid positive performance going into 2010 and keeps me optimistic that the stock should hit my yearly price target of $75 at the end of 2010. After hour trading places prices at $70.10.