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OAK BROOK, IL-McDonalds Corp. saw a positive third quarter according to executives on the earrings result call this morning. Global comparable sales were up 3.8% for the quarter. The US rose 2.5%, Europe saw a 5.8% increase, while Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa was up 2.2%.

“McDonald’s global results demonstrate the resilience of our strategies and our ability to execute successfully,” says CEO Jim Skinner.

Earnings per share and the quarterly cash dividend both increased 10% to $1.15 per share and $0.55 per share, respectively. The Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa market saw the largest jump in operating income for the quarter, increasing 21% (in constant currencies).

Despite the favorable results, CFO Peter Bensen told investors the company plans to delay the opening of 100 new sites because “key traffic drivers did not materialize.”The majority of the delays will be in Asia, both in China and Japan. The Eastern Block will also put several locations on standby, but not as many as the roughly 35 stores that won’t open in China until market conditions improve.

McDonalds originally had plans to open 175 new stores in China throughout 2009, but will now open about 140. Still, company executives say they are bullish on the Chinese market in the long-term. There are 1,200 stores now in China and they are poised to expand when the Chinese market begins to pick-up again and store traffic increases.

“We begin the fourth quarter from a position of strength, and I am confident that our focus on the customer and commitment to financial discipline will continue to deliver long-term profitable growth for our System and our shareholders,” Skinner says. “For October, despite a declining informal eating out market around the world, we expect consolidated comparable sales to remain positive.”

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