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Last updated: February 19. 2013 9:31PM - 146 Views

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NEW YORK — McDonald's Corp. said Monday that a key sales figure rebounded in November, as U.S. customers snapped up the world's biggest hamburger chain's breakfast offerings and limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches.


The increase follows a decline in October, the first drop in McDonald's key monthly sales gauge in nearly a decade.


The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., said that its global sales at restaurants open at least 13 months rose 2.4 percent for the month ended Nov. 30. The figure is a key metric because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.


The figure rose 2.5 percent in the U.S., boosted by popularity of breakfast options, its value menu and limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches.


It rose 1.4 percent in Europe, where it gets 40 percent of its business, as strength in the U.K., Russia and other markets were offset by weakness in Germany.


In the region encompassing Asia, the Middle East and Africa, it edged up 0.6 percent, hurt by results in Japan.


Systemwide sales, which includes sales at all restaurants, rose 3.2 percent.


Results benefited from McDonald's increasing focus on its dollar menu, said Jefferies analyst Andy Barrish, as well as new products like its Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches and $4.99 20-piece Extra Value McNuggets.


But he said the increased price competition within the sector may pressure margins, since cheaper items are less profitable. He kept his Hold rating on the stock.


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