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Burger King Beats, Looks Abroad for Growth

MIAMI ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Burger King Holdings (BKC) pushed higher Tuesday morning after the fast food chain posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits.

Burger King booked earnings of $49 million, or 36 cents per share, beating expectations for profits of $45.8 million, or 34 cents per share. Still, results were sharply lower than year-earlier profits of $58.9 million, or 43 cents per share.

Burger King

While earnings topped Wall Street's expectations, Burger King's quarterly revenue came up short as global comparable same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year, fell 0.7%. Comps at U.S. and Canadian locations fell 1.5%.

Burger King's performance was pressured by stubbornly high rates of young, jobless males in the U.S., Citi analyst Gregory R. Badishkanian said in an appearance on CNBC.

Burger King said it plans to open between 225 and 275 net new restaurants in fiscal 2011, over 90% of which will be outside the U.S. and Canada.

Rival McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) is also looking to expand abroad.

Last week McDonald's said it raised $29.4 million through yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong. McDonald's was the first non-financial multinational company to issue a yuan-denominated bond in China after the country began allowing its currency to be used for cross-border trade last year, though others may be looking to follow suit. Reports indicate that Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) may follow the fast-food purveyor's lead with its own offering.

>>McDonald's Raises Funds in Yuan Bond

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