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Global comparable-restaurant sales were 12.7% higher.

Joerg Koch/DDP/AFP via Getty Images

Shares of


McDonald’s

were trading higher after the company posted better-than-expected earnings, boosted by strong sales in international markets.

Net income totaled $2.15 billion, or $2.86 per share, up from $1.76 billion, or $2.35 per share, last year. Adjusted earnings per share of $2.76 beat the FactSet consensus estimate of $2.46.

The earnings were largely bolstered by international markets and some regions, like Europe, where customers dine in more often, executives said on a call with investors Wednesday morning, but foot traffic numbers are still preliminary.

“Certainly in Europe, dine-in is a bigger percentage of our sales and is an important part of that business, and we have seen dine-in return,” said Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan on the call. “I mean, kiosk usage is getting back to almost where it was prepandemic.”

Ozan said it’s important to note that consumer preferences vary by region. In some places, he said, diners prefer to sit, while others are on the go.


McDonald’s

is also starting to think about potential scenarios for reusing dine-in space if numbers don’t return to prepandemic levels, said CEO Chris Kempczinski on the call. He didn’t mention what those scenarios might entail.

The company posted sales of $6.20 billion, up from $5.41 billion last year and ahead of the FactSet consensus of $6.05 billion.

Global comparable sales rose 12.7%, with the U.S. up 9.6%. McDonald’s sales in international markets where it owns and operates its restaurants—a category that includes the United Kingdom and France—were up 13.9%. Sales in international developmental licensed markets, where the restaurants are franchised, were up 16.7%. That category includes Japan and China.

As for the


Beyond Meat

(BYND) test locations, Kempczinski said it’s too early to know how successful the product will be, but early results in Europe are encouraging. “We’re going to let the markets decide when is the best time to pull it down based on what the customer acceptance or interest is in this concept,” he said.

Earlier this month, Beyond Meat shares rose when McDonald’s said it would be testing the McPlant sandwich in eight U.S. locations for a limited time.

Beyond Meat‘s stock slid Tuesday, though, after


Credit Suisse

downgraded it, arguing that the company’s fake meat has reached market saturation faster than expected.

Shares of McDonald’s were up 2.6%, at $242.58, in recent trading. The stock has gained 13% year to date, while the

Dow Jones Industrial Average
has advanced 16%.

Write to Logan Moore at logan.moore@barrons.com

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