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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fast food giant McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Reportreported third-quarter earnings before the bell Monday of $1.52 a share on $7.32 billion in revenue, a 2% year-on-year increase. In the same period a year earlier, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company posted earnings of $1.42 a share on revenue of $1.46 billion.

"Our results reflect McDonald's ability to grow amid the broad-based challenges of the current environment by focusing on those areas of the business within our control," said President and CEO Don Thompson in a statement.

Despite strong revenue, the world's largest fast food chain had moderate growth in global comparable-store sales, up 0.9% with a 0.7% increase in the U.S. and 0.2% in Europe. To increase sales and fortify profitability in European markets, the company said it is focusing on "ongoing efforts to recalibrate key market value platforms and enhance the McDonald's experience through menu innovation and marketing".

Comparable sales in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa dropped 1.4% and operating income fell 12%, a symptom of a challenging economic environment, particularly in Japan, China and Australia. McDonald's is seeking to rectify this by increasing accessibility and convenience, while promoting growth in breakfast and late-night sales.

For the fourth quarter, the burger giant anticipates global comparable sales largely in-line with current sluggish trends. A bellwether for the fast food industry, the depressed consumer activity could spell trouble for restaurant chains still to report including Wendy's  (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company (The) ReportRed Robin  (RRGB) - Get Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. Report and Noodles & Co  (NDLS) - Get Noodles & Company Report.

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"While we are focused on strengthening our near-term performance, the current environment continues to pressure results," said Thompson.

Shares have dropped 0.79%, halving its earlier 2% decline, as of 10:40 a.m. EST. Year-to-date, the company has seen shares rise 5.9%, compared to the S&P 500 which is up 22.28%.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MCDONALD'S CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate MCDONALD'S CORP (MCD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.