McDonald’s Corporation (MCD) announced strong results yesterday for the first quarter ended March 31st, 2011, driven by international comparable sales growth. Global comparable sales were up 4.2%, with U.S. up 2.9%, Europe up 5.7% and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa up 3.2%. Revenues increased 9% to $6.11 billion, just barely above analyst forecast. The Company reported earnings per share of $1.15, up 11% from the previous year.
In the U.S., 1Q comparable sales and customer traffic reflected menu changes such as the McCafe line, Oatmeal and featured products such as the 20-piece Chicken McNuggets and the Chipotle BBQ Bacon Angus Burger. MCD has maintained a long-term emphasis on everyday affordability, classic core menu favorites, signature food events and ongoing restaurant reimaging which contributed to performance across many markets.
The Company expects 2Q2011 results to be in line with or better than the first quarter’s, despite the current challenges of rising commodity costs in the U.S. and Europe. McDonald’s revised its expectations for full-year commodity inflation, now projected to be up 4-4.5% I the U.S. and in Europe, previously expected to be up 2.0%-2.5% in the U.S. and 3.5-4.5% in Europe. The stock closed at $76.91, down 1.90%.