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Ford (NYSE: F ) and General Motors (NYSE: GM ) haven't given us much reason to feel so great about some companies that once exemplified the good old U.S. of A. Thank goodness McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) is there to remind us that there's excellence left in iconic American brands; I'll bet Ray Kroc would be proud.
I recently begged Uncle Sam to let Ford and GM go ahead and fail, since they haven't remained competitive, despite America's historical leadership in automobiles (and now the Big 3 are lining up at the public trough for government loans). Of course, burgers and fries are also as American as apple pie, and McDonald's August comps were yet another absolutely astounding success (no assistance needed!).
McDonald's August same-store sales skyrocketed 8.5% overall. Even more impressive, U.S. comps increased by 4.5%, which the company attributed to its breakfast menu, an Olympic-related Southern Style Chicken Sandwich and Biscuit promotion, and, of course, value offerings.
International sales were also stunning. Comps increased 11.6% in Europe and 10% in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa market.
As has been the case for quite some time now, Americans' recent budget-minded consumption has meant they're lining up for McDonald's. (Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) has been another beneficiary of consumers' penny-pinching ways.) Wendy's (NYSE: WEN ) and Burger King (NYSE: BKC ) can take their shots, but it looks like nobody's stopping Mickey D's.
One could nitpick and point out that this August was more favorable, since it had one more Saturday and Sunday than the same time last year, adding up to a boost of 0.3% to 2.1% in comps, depending on the area of the world. Then again, it's not like McDonald's slacked off last August, either; back then its comps surged 8.1%.
McDonald's has blown past analysts' expectations again and again. This outperformance has been going on for so long it's difficult to remember way back when McDonald's was in dire need of a turnaround.
I'm sure some investors are wondering if they should get out of McDonald's stock while the getting's still good. I'm thinking, not so fast; it can be a huge mistake to ditch a real winner, and McDonald's has shown itself to be just that. Many American companies have left us starving for some good news, but fortunately McDonald's still has it on the menu.
Put some related Foolishness on the menu: