McDonald's Corp. posted stronger-than-expected global sales at established restaurants as demand in Europe came in far above Wall Street estimates.
"Europe was the concern, and Europe blew it through," Oppenheimer analyst Matt DiFrisco said. "That will give people a little bit of increased confidence."
Same-store sales in Europe jumped 7 percent in January, well past the 3.7 percent analysts had expected.
Europe is McDonald's largest market for sales, contributing about 40 percent of revenue.
Shares of McDonald's rose nearly 1 percent in trading before the market opened.
DiFrisco, who has a "perform" rating on the shares, said investors had been concerned about Europe because of the austerity measures in that region, but it was still seeing the benefit of new products from McDonald's.
Worldwide January sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 5.3 percent, above the 4.4 percent analysts had expected.
In the United States, where high unemployment has hurt fast-food chains, sales rose 3.1 percent, below the 4.4 percent gain analysts had expected. This market accounts for about 35 percent of McDonald's revenue.
Sales in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa unit rose 5.2 percent, above the 4.6 percent increase analysts had expected.
Shares of McDonald's were up 0.9 percent at $74.08 in premarket trading.
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