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McDonald's fourth-quarter profit more than doubles due in part to spinoff of burrito chain

McDonald's fourth-quarter profit more than doubles due in part to spinoff of burrito chain

Fast food heavyweight McDonald's Corp. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, thanks in large part to the spinoff of a burrito chain and strong sales in Europe.
The biggest U.S. fast-food chain earned $1.2 billion (euro0.92 billion), or $1 (euro.77) a share, in the quarter ending Dec. 31, up from $608.5 million (euro467.9 million), or 48 cents a share, during the year-ago period.
McDonald's revenue climbed 11 percent to $5.6 billion (euro4.31 billion), from $5.01 billion (euro3.85 billion) during the year-ago period.
Even without the gain from the spinoff of the Mexican-style eatery Chipotle, McDonald's said its income from continuing operations climbed to $761.2 million (euro585.31 million), up 26 percent from $604.8 million (euro465.05 million) last year.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said the gain on the Chipotle spinoff added 39 cents per share to its results.
On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast quarterly income of 61 cents per share and revenue of $5.7 billion (euro4.38 billion). The estimates typically exclude one-time items.
For the year, McDonald's said it earned $3.5 billion (euro2.69 billion), or $2.83 (euro2.18) per share, a 36 increase from last year. For 2006, the company had $21.6 billion (euro16.61 billion) in revenue.
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