NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fast food giant McDonald's (MCD) reported 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), Red Robin (RRGB) and Noodles & Co (NDLS).
"While we are focused on strengthening our near-term performance, the current environment continues to pressure results," said Thompson.