Strong U.S. sales give McDonald’s a boost in 4Q

McDonald’s ended 2020 on a strong note, recovering nearly all of the global sales lost in the pandemic despite a resurgent virus.

U.S. sales were a big contributor, pumped up by new menu items like spicy Chicken McNuggets and celebrity collaborations. U.S. same-store sales rose 5.5% in the October-December period.

Ssame-store sales – or sales at locations open at least a year – were down just 1.3% worldwide in the quarter despite store closures in Italy, Spain and Germany. Sales moved into positive territory in key markets, including the United Kingdom.

Net income fell 12% to $1.4 billion for the fourth quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, the Chicago fast food giant earned $1.70 per share. That was short of Wall Street’s expectation of $1.77, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

McDonald’s revenue fell 2% to $5.3 billion, also short of Wall Street’s expectations.

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