Earnings Cheat Sheet: McDonald’s Reaches All-Time Highs on Drinks and Dollar Menu

If you owned shares of McDonald’s (MCD) since the recession started, you’d have a hard time understanding why anyone is complaining. Today the world’s largest fast-food chain announced strong earnings on the back of demand for smoothies, coffee, and the dollar menu.

Earnings: Increased to $1.39 billion ($1.29 per share) from $1.26 billion ($1.15 per share) y-o-y.

Revenue: Increased 4.3% to $6.3 billion.

Actual versus Wall Street Expectations: McDonald’s beat estimates by $0.04 a share, and revenues handily topped the $6.23 billion expected (Thomson Reuters).

Notable Stats: Global comparable sales increased 6.0%, with the U.S. up 5.3%, Europe up 4.1% and Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa up 8.1%.

The nationwide promotion of McCafe Frappes and Smoothies, McDonald’s classic core favorites and the everyday affordability of the Dollar Menu were key contributors to the segment’s robust comparable sales growth and 7% increase in operating income.

Did You Hear That? Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner noted, “As we begin the final quarter of 2010, our momentum continues with October global comparable sales expected to increase 5% to 6%.”

Disclosure: No positions.