NEW YORK (AP) — Higher prices on McDonald’s menu led to surprisingly strong comparable-store sales during the first quarter, sending shares up sharply in early trading Monday.

Sales rose 2.9 percent at established restaurants in the U.S., the company’s biggest market. Worldwide, that figure rose 5.5 percent, which is a lot stronger than the 3.6 percent increase that industry analysts had forecast, according to a survey by FactSet

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The Oak Brook, Illinois, company also reported healthy profits and revenue.

McDonald’s earned $1.38 billion, or $1.72 per share, for the period ended March 31. A year earlier, the hamburger chain earned $1.21 billion, or $1.47 per share.

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Adjusted earnings came to $1.79 per share, which is way better than the per-share earnings of $1.67 that industry analysts had projected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Total revenue declined to $5.14 billion from $5.68 billion, but still beat expectations.

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Shares of McDonald’s Corp. shares rose 4 percent before the stock market opened.
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Portions of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on MCD at https://www.zacks.com/ap/MCD