McDonald's crushes earnings expectations thanks to new Big Macs and all-day breakfast

McDonald's on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' most bullish estimates amid declining visits to restaurants industrywide.

All-day breakfast and new sizes for its iconic Big Mac helped lift sales in the US by 1.7%, McDonald's said.

Global sales at stores open for at least one year — so-called comparable store sales — rose 4%, trouncing the consensus estimate for an increase by 1.3%.

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The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.47, beating the forecast for $1.34. Total revenue fell 4% year-on-year to $5.68 billion, also topping analysts' forecast.

McDonald's cut prices during the quarter to beat its rivals in the competitive fast-food space, and as fewer Americans eat out because the price of food at grocery stores has declined. Visits to McDonald's US restaurants dropped 2.1% in 2016, even after the rollout of a new McPick 2 value menu early last year that offered bundled value meals for between $2 and $4.

McDonald's shares rose more than 2% in premarket trading.

NOW WATCH: We tried McDonald's new Mac Jr. and Grand Mac to see how they stack up to the classic Big Mac

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