Monthly comparable sales results improved sequentially for all segments throughout the third quarter of 2020. U.S.: Comparable sales were positive throughout the quarter, benefiting from strong average check growth from larger group orders as well as a strong performance at the dinner daypart.

McDonald’s strategic marketing investments and resulting promotional activity drove low double-digit comparable sales for the month of September, including positive comparable sales across all dayparts. Comparable guest counts remained negative for the quarter. International Operated Markets: Comparable sales results improved throughout the quarter, with consumer sentiment and government regulations impacting the pace of recovery from COVID-19. Limited operations also remained in place for some markets. Comparable sales varied across markets with negative comparable sales in France, Spain, Germany, and the U.K., partly offset by positive comparable sales in Australia. International Developmental Licensed Markets: Comparable sales results were impacted by negative comparable sales in Latin America and China, partly offset by strong positive comparable sales in Japan.

McDonald’s raises quarterly dividend 3% to $1.29 per share payable on December 15, 2020, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 1, 2020.

McDonald’s surprise Q3 same-store-sales pre-release “should give investors reason to smile,” Wells Fargo analyst Jon Tower tells investors in a research note. The U.S. comp growth of 4.6% not only affirmed investor optimism around the success of the recent Travis Scott Meal promotion but also reinforced the idea that the brand’s competitive advantages will translate into a faster recovery than many expected, says Tower. The analyst, who says the celebrity promotions are a way to draw in the younger consumer, keeps an Overweight rating on McDonald’s.

After McDonald’s pre-released fiscal third-quarter U.S. same-store sales growth of 4.6%, Stephens analyst James Rutherford noted this was above his 2.8% growth estimate and the consensus 2.7% forecast. The analyst, who said he remains positive on the U.S. opportunity given continued tailwinds from menu innovation, advertising, and promotions, keeps an Overweight rating on McDonald’s with a $218 price target on the shares.

McDonald’s reported better-than-expected sales for the third quarter with comparable sales increasing by 4.6% in the U.S. CNBC’s Kate Rogers reports.


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