McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) has been serving up some tasty numbers for investors in recent quarters, driving the stock sharply higher. Shares were up more than 30% year to date before the company reported its third-quarter results earlier this week. Ahead of the fast-food giant's third-quarter report, investors were wondering if the momentum in its underlying business would continue.

Based on the figures from McDonald's quarterly update, business is still sizzling. "We are serving more customers, more often by offering great tasting food at a good value with the quick service and friendly hospitality they expect from McDonald's," said the company's CEO, Steve Easterbrook, when summing up the quarter.

McDonald's drive-through in Denton, Texas

Image source: McDonald's.

Here are the nine most insightful metrics from McDonald's third quarter

6%: Comparable sales increased 6% year over year, demonstrating the company's momentum across its business as it executes on strategies as part of its Experience of the Future transformation. The comparable-sales bump was lower than the 6.6% increase McDonald's posted in Q2, but it represents much healthier growth than its 3.5% comparable-sales growth in the year-ago quarter. McDonald's said its strong comparable-sales growth was driven primarily by positive guest counts in all of its segments.

9: Q3 was McDonald's ninth quarter in a row of same-store sales growth.

7%: McDonald's systemwide sales increased 7% year over year in constant currencies. At the moment, the metric does a better job of capturing McDonald's operational growth than total revenue because of the near-term impact McDonald's strategic-refranchising initiative is having on revenue. In constant currencies, the company's total revenue was down 12%.

9%: Excluding the impact of strategic charges and the gain from a sale of McDonald's businesses in China and Hong Kong, as well as strategic charges from the prior year, the fast-food restaurant's earnings per share increased 9%.

$2.9 billion: McDonald's financial strength continued to benefit shareholders as the company returned $2.9 billion to its investors through repurchases and dividends.

41: During McDonald's third quarter, the company's board approved a 7% increase to its quarterly dividend, increasing it from $0.94 to $1.01. The dividend increase was McDonald's 41st consecutive annual dividend increase, highlighting the company's attractiveness as a dividend investment.

Not only does McDonald's have a long and consistent track record of dividend increases, but it has a higher dividend yield than competitors. Its dividend yield is 2.5%, while Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN) and Yum! Brands are 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively. In addition, McDonald's latest dividend increase isn't far behind Wendy's and Yum! Brands' respective 8% and 11% recent increases for their dividends.

A fast-food burger and fries

Image source: Getty Images.

20,000: McDonald's said it remains on track for its aggressive plan to deploy mobile order and pay to 20,000 restaurants by the end of the year.

5,000: McDonald's has impressively rolled out delivery at more than 5,000 restaurants in just nine months, showing the company's fast pace of execution recently. McDonald's now offers delivery at more than 20% of its global restaurants when including the 3,500 restaurants in Asia and the Middle East that already offered delivery.

9 million: McDonald's management said there are roughly 9 million people using its digital products on a monthly basis.

McDonald's growth strategies are paying off as the company continues to drive strong business growth, while simultaneously making inroads on the digital strategies that will be integral to the fast-food chain's future.