McDonald's hits record high after earnings beat

Half eaten Big Mac

The fast food giant delivered fresh evidence to investors its prolonged turnaround effort is working.

The Dow component reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped estimates on Thursday, snapping a streak of sales contractions at established restaurants in the U.S.

Following the report, McDonald's stock jumped to an all-time high, boosting the Dow by 47 points.

It said earnings rose to $1.40 a share from $1.09 a year ago. Currency headwinds hit revenue, which fell 5 percent to $6.62 billion from $6.99 billion.

Wall Street expected McDonald's to deliver $1.27 in earnings per share on $6.41 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

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"Third quarter marked an important step in the Company's global turnaround — the reorganization of our business from a geographically focused structure to business segments that combine markets with similar characteristics and opportunities for growth," CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a release.

Globally, sales at restaurants open at least 13 months jumped 4 percent while those in the U.S. rose 0.9 percent amid breakfast strength. Global sales at established restaurants were expected to rise 1.9 percent while those in the U.S. were forecast to drop 0.2 percent, according to a Consensus Metrix estimate.

Performance was especially strong in the segment that includes China, fueled by a sales recovery in the country after a supplier issue in the prior year.

Earlier this month, McDonald's launched all-day breakfast hours in the U.S. as it seeks to turn around its struggling domestic unit. The initiative is one of several that Easterbrook has undertaken since taking the helm in March, including a structural reorganization of the company that seeks to increase the proportion of its franchised restaurants.

The breakfast initiative launched in the current quarter so investors will have to wait until its next report to find out results.

Easterbrook noted comparable sales are expected to be positive in each of its segments during the fourth quarter. It will provide further guidance during its investor meeting on Nov. 10.

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