Grimace boosts US sales, results top estimates across the board

McDonald’s (MCD) reported second quarter results Thursday that beat Wall Street expectations across the board as its “culturally relevant brand and marketing campaigns” powered strong results in the US market, which saw its viral Grimace Shake take off in June.

The company reported global same-store sales that rose 11.7%, more than the 9.4% expected by analysts. US same-store sales rose 10.3%, more than 9.1% forecasted by Wall Street.

Revenue in the quarter totaled $6.5 billion, topping forecasts for $6.3 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $3.15, more than the $2.78 analysts were expecting, according to Bloomberg data.

McDonald’s also incurred a pre-tax restructuring charge of $18 million, or $0.02 per share for the quarter and $198 million, or $0.20 per share, for the six months ending June 30, primarily related to its restructuring plan that saw the company lay off an undisclosed number of workers in early April.

Same-store sales also beat forecasts internationally, with the company’s International Operated Markets segment recording same-store sales that rose 11.9% over last year while International Developed Licensed Markets sales rose 14%. Wall Street expected sales in these segments to rise 8.3% and 11.3%, respectively.

The company also reported systemwide digital sales — which include sales at company-owned and franchised restaurants — totaled $8 billion across its six biggest markets.

In a statement, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said, “While macroeconomic challenges persist, we continue to invest in our growth drivers and our brand to meet the customer needs to tomorrow.” Earlier this year, McDonald’s shared plans to open 1,900 new locations this year, its largest initiative move since 2014.

In the US, McDonald’s said sales “benefited from strategic menu price increases and positive guest counts.”

Though the company did not mention its Grimace promotion by name, it said, “Successful restaurant level execution, culturally relevant brand and marketing campaigns and continued digital and delivery growth contributed to strong comparable sales results.”

Young consumers, particularly Gen Z, flocked to social media to show themselves drinking the limited-edition purple, berry-flavored milkshake.

Grimace Birthday Meal, featuring a limited-edition purple shake inspired by Grimace's iconic color and sweetness. (Courtesy: McDonald's)

Grimace Birthday Meal, featuring a limited-edition purple shake inspired by Grimace’s iconic color and sweetness. (Courtesy: McDonald’s)

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at

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