The burger and fries seller said it should earn about 48 cents a share in the quarter, including a reduction of 3 cents from the negative effect of foreign currency exchange rates and expenses related to an asset impairment.
On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are looking for a profit of 47 cents.
The company also said comp sales rose 5% in December. "I'm pleased with the solid performance delivered under the Plan to Win and our ability to sustain the momentum we've created," McDonald's Chief Executive Jim Skinner said in a press release. "The positive comparable sales achieved across all segments for the second consecutive year is evidence of the effectiveness of our ongoing customer-focused initiatives."
McDonald's plans to release its fourth-quarter results before the market opens Jan. 24. Shares of McDonald's were gaining 10 cents to $34.57 in premarket trading Tuesday.