(By Balachander S) McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD) shares gained 1.65 percent in premarket trading on Friday after the fast food chain reported quarterly earnings growth, helped by gains in comparable sales worldwide.
Excluding currency translation, earnings increased to $1.27 billion or $1.23 per share for the first quarter from $1.21 billion or $1.15 per share in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 8 percent to $6.55 billion.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.23 per share on sales of $6.54 billion.
Global comparable sales registered a 7.3 percent gain, with the U.S. posting 8.9 percent comps growth. Comparable sales at Europe and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa's (APMEA) increased 5 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.
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In the U.S., the company attributed the top-line growth to the ongoing popularity of McDonald's classic core favorites, menu innovations such as Chicken McBites and favorable weather.
McDonald's expects comparable sales for the month of April to grow around 4 percent.
The stock, which has been trading between $76.50 and $102.22 over the past year, ended Thursday's regular trading at $95.28.