Adult Happy Meals, McRib, feed McDonald’s sales in Q4

Adult Happy Meals and other limited-time promotions boosted traffic at McDonald’s restaurants during the fourth quarter despite higher prices.

Global same-store sales __ or sales at stores open at least a year __ rose 12.6% in the October-December period, the Chicago company said today. That beat all Street expectations for an 8.8% increase, according to analysts polled by FactSet. U.S. same-store sales rose 10.3%.

Sales soared in October after McDonald’s launched adult Happy Meals featuring limited-edition toys designed by the streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market. Half of the toys for those meals were gone in the first four days of the promotion, CEO Chris Kempczinski said earlier.

A “farewell tour” for the cult favorite McRib sandwich drew in more customers in November.

Fourth quarter revenue fell 1% to $5.9 billion, but that still beat analysts expectations for $5.7 billion. Overseas revenue was weaker because of the strong dollar; 60% of McDonald’s sales come from outside the U.S.

Net income rose 16% to $1.9 billion, or $2.59 per share, topping profit projections by 13 cents.