McDonald’s Q4 earnings beat estimates, boosted by menu prices, digital sales, guest count

McDonald’s (MCD) posted fourth-quarter earnings results Tuesday morning that beat expectations, with same-store sales boosted by increased higher menu prices, guest counts, and marketing efforts.

In the year ahead, the company expects inflation pressures to continue as it looks to open new restaurants coming off a year that saw global comparable-store sales rise 10.9%, with U.S. comps rising 5.9%.

Here are the company’s key metrics, compared to Wall Street expectations compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Revenue: $5.93 billion versus $5.75 billion expected

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $2.59 versus $2.44 expected

  • U.S. same-store sales: 10.3% versus 7.62% expected

  • International operated markets same-store sales: 12.6% versus 7.56%

“Our ‘Accelerating the Arches’ strategy is driving growth and building brand strength, delivering exceptional full-year performance in 2022 with over 10% comparable sales growth and 5% comparable guest count growth globally,” McDonald’s CEO and president Chris Kempczinski said in the release.

He added, “While we expect short-term inflationary pressures to continue into 2023, we remain highly confident in Accelerating the Arches, which now includes a greater emphasis on restaurant openings.”

In the fourth quarter, digital sales in its top six markets totaled $7 billion for the quarter, accounting for more than 35% of total sales.

In the U.S., same-store sales were up 10.3% last quarter, compared to 7.5% in the same quarter in 2021.

Higher menu prices and higher tickets helped drive the uptick. Marketing and menu campaigns like the collaboration Cactus Plant Flea Market, what many customers called an Adult Happy Meal, along with the return of the McRib, helped drive growth.

McDonald’s USA x Cactus Plant Flea Market (Courtesy: McDonald’s USA)

McDonald’s USA x Cactus Plant Flea Market (Courtesy: McDonald’s USA)

International markets saw sales increase by 12.6%, a slowdown from the 16.8% growth in comps seen in the same quarter last year.

In developing markets, Brazil and Japan once again drove strong sales for the segment, which was offset by negative same-store sales in China amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

For the full 2022 fiscal year, McDonald’s reported an increase of 10.9% for global same-store sales. The strong dollar weighed on results for the company, as revenue was flat for 2022 but rose 6% when measured in constant currencies, while systemwide sales increased 5% for the year and 11% in constant currencies.

The company’s full-year 2022 fiscal results reflect the $1.3 billion charge related to the company’s sale of its Russia business, in addition to a $271 million gain related to the sale of Dynamic Yield. With those excluded, along with net gains in 2021, operating incomes increased by 3%, or 10% in constant currencies.

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at [email protected].

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