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McDonald's US sales gain, but outlook uncertain amid Covid-19 spike

·1-min read
US sales at McDonald's gained, but overseas sales fell amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases
US sales at McDonald's gained, but overseas sales fell amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases

Fast-food giant McDonald's saw earnings beat expectations on a US sales rebound in the most recent quarter, but the chain said Monday it remains cautious about the outlook amid a spike in Covid-19.

Nearly all of the chain's restaurants were open during the quarter, and US sales got a boost from new offerings including Spicy Chicken McNuggets and a meal deal promoted by rapper Travis Scott.

But overseas sales were less buoyant, and "as a result of COVID-19 resurgences, since September, there have been numerous instances of government restrictions on operating hours, limited dine-in capacity in most countries and, in some cases, mandated dining room closures," the company said.

Most of the impact is in foreign markets including France, Germany, and Britain.

"The Company expects some restrictions in various markets so long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues," the statement said.

Global revenues at the golden arches fell two percent in the July-September quarter to $5.42 billion, slightly better than analysts had forecast. 

One highlight of the results was the increase in US comparable store sales of 4.6 percent in the third quarter, even as guest counts were down. 

Like many small restaurants suffering amid coronavirus restrictions, McDonald's has tried to beef up online orders, take-out or delivery, as well as their existing drive-thru system.

McDonald's posted third-quarter net income of $1.76 billion, up 10 percent year-on-year.

That works out to $2.22 a share, beating analysts' forecasts of $1.90. 

The chain's share priced jumped at the open, but reversed course and lost 1.5 percent at the close.

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