updated 7/15/2005 11:27:26 AM ET 2005-07-15T15:27:26

Shares of McDonald’s Corp. rose nearly 4 percent Friday after the world’s top-selling fast food company released second-quarter earnings guidance that was well ahead of Wall Street’s expectations.

McDonald’s, which is scheduled to release its second-quarter earnings Thursday, said it expects a profit of 42 cents a share, including 9 cents per share of incremental tax expense to repatriate about $3.2 billion in overseas earnings and 2 cents per share in stock compensation expenses.

Excluding the repatriation expense, McDonald’s said its earnings would be 51 cents a share, 3 cents better than the consensus forecast of 48 cents a share by analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

The Oak Brook-based company reported the guidance along with its June sales figures, which showed 3.8 percent growth in global same-store sales, or sales at restaurants open at least one year.

The June rise in global same-store sales was larger than the 2.8 percent for the full second quarter and the 3.7 percent growth for the year to date. U.S. same-store sales climbed 5.4 percent in June, 4.8 percent for the quarter and 5 percent so far this year.

McDonald’s said overall global sales at its restaurants climbed 6.2 percent in June, 6.3 percent in the second quarter and 7.1 percent for the year to date.

“In the U.S., we continue to deliver strong sales results on top of last year’s outstanding performance,” said Chief Executive Jim Skinner in a statement. “Customers continue to positively respond to new products such as the Fruit & Walnut Salad, core menu favorites and extended hours; all combining to keep our momentum going.”

Skinner said he is confident the company’s U.S. business will continue to deliver “good results” with more restaurants open longer hours this summer and the launch of Premium Chicken Sandwiches in August. He said McDonald’s is increasing customer visits in Europe through menu variety and value deals, which contributed to same-store sales growth of 1.3 percent in June.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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