McDonald’s (MCD) global same-store sales continue to grow (up 3.8% in the third quarter of 2009) while maintaining healthy margins and out-performing competitors. Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, and were up 10% year over year.

However, a strong U.S. dollar continues to moderate results, adversely impacting the top and bottom lines. We expect continued headwind from a stronger dollar, but this is a translation impact, and will not affect the fundamentals of overseas operations, which operate entirely in local currency.

With a strong balance sheet, consistent earnings, healthy cash flow and a generous dividend, we think the stock provides relative safety and moderate growth in a turbulent environment and exposure to faster-growing international markets. As such, we maintain an Outperform recommendation.Zacks Investment Research