Updated with analyst comment and comparison to competitors.
November was the 103rd consecutive month with positive global comparable-store sales growth and Wells Fargo analysts in a recent report noted McDonald's "impressive track record."
Sales in Asia, the Middle East and Africa jumped 8.1%. Comparable-store sales in both Europe and the United States rose 6.5%.Growth in the East was led by Japan and China. In the U.S., seasonal peppermint mocha drinks as well as a chicken nugget promotion helped boost growth. McDonald's comparable-store sales in October rose 5.5%; again Asia, the Middle East and Africa were the leading regions. McDonald's sales boost in November carries on from 5% sales growth in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. For comparison, Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell-operator Yum! Brands (YUM) had 6% worldwide sales growth in the third quarter; Yum's same-store sales in China jumped 19%. Starbucks' (SBUX) global comparable sales rose 9% in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 2, with 10% of that increase coming from the U.S. and 6% from international sales. "[McDonald's is] doing much better than Burger King, or Wendy's (WEN), but not quite as good as Starbucks' 9.0% comps in its most recent quarter," said Argus Research analyst John Staszak, who added, "Don't get me wrong, though, 7.4% is a strong showing." Wells Fargo rates McDonald's at market perform and estimates fiscal year 2012 earnings per share at $5.68 per share. Goldman Sachs considers McDonald's a buy with a 12-month price target of $103. McDonald's shares rose 1.4% in trading Thursday to $97.84. -- Written by Alexandra Zendrian
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