McDonald's Corp , the world's largest fast-food chain, said on Friday that sales in the United States rebounded in January, easing investors fears after a flat December, sending its stock up more than 2 percent.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based franchise said worldwide sales at stores open for at least 13 months rose by 5.7 percent. The Asia, Middle East and Africa unit reported same-store sales growth of 7.8 percent. In the U.S., same store sales - those at outlets open at least a year - were up 1.9 percent, boosted by breakfast business and dollar menu items.
These results and indications that the latter part of January showed acceleration, could stem recent concerns that the domestic business may be under more meaningful pressure, Steven Kron, analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in a research note.
In December, McDonald's U.S. same-store sales were essentially flat causing the company's shares to decline about 8 percent the day of the announcement on investors concerns that consumers were cutting back on fast-food purchases due to the slowing economy.
Friday's figures helped ease some of those concerns. Shares of McDonald's traded 2.22 percent or $1.21 higher, to $55.67.
McDonald's had estimated that a weak U.S. economy would cut same-store sales by 1 percentage point to 2 percentage point. The company anticipated U.S. same-store sales to rise at least 1.5 percent in January, .