McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

hit its raised expectations Thursday, posting a strong first-quarter earnings rise bolstered by its revamped menu.

For the first quarter ended last month, the hamburger giant earned $728 million, or 56 cents a share, up from the year-ago $512 million, or 40 cents a share. Revenue rose 9% from a year ago to $4.8 billion.

Excluding one-time items, latest-quarter earnings were 46 cents a share, in line with the target McDonald's set last week.

"We continued our positive momentum in the quarter with solid revenue and operating income growth, on top of last year's outstanding double-digit growth that included one additional day due to leap year," CEO Jim Skinner said in a Thursday morning press release.

McDonald's closed Wednesday at $29.94.