Fast-food giant McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) posted its 30th consecutive month of same-store sales growth for its namesake restaurants -- the largest chain of food establishments in the world. When it comes to turnarounds, McDonald's 2.5 years of blossoming sales are indeed a bouquet of great beauty.

Here are the results for 2005, and they're something investors can sink their teeth into with relish. September came in with worldwide same-store sales up 3.9% from September 2004. For the quarter, they rose 4.1%, and they expanded 3.8% year to date.

Add in all sales from all the namesake restaurants, and the third quarter's global revenue was up 6.3%. That's well above the company's goal of 3% to 5% annual sales growth and far above the 2.8% the company booked last quarter.

Just like August, September's strong numbers were fueled by the new Premium Chicken Sandwich, longer restaurant hours, and a strong breakfast business.

A look at the details shows why a geographically diversified portfolio can be beneficial. In the U.S., where sales were buffeted by hurricanes, same-store sales managed a less-than-robust 2.7% increase this September, comparing poorly with last year's gigantic 10.6% rise. But in Europe, where same-store sales fell 0.6% in September 2004, this year they were ahead an extremely strong 6.6%.

Mickey D's domestic results are similar to those posted at the No. 2 player in the fast food industry, YUM! Brands (NYSE:YUM). Their blended U.S. sales increased 4% for the third quarter. But the home of the square-shaped burger, Wendy's (NYSE:WEN), didn't fare as well. Its namesake restaurants turned in a 5% decline in the third quarter.

McDonald's stock, up 0.8% in mid-afternoon trading, is in the middle of its 52-week trading range. Investor uncertainty about the economy is probably keeping the stock in check. But consider this. McDonald's generated $1.5 billion in trailing annual free cash flow. That leaves the company with ample opportunity to continue to reduce total debt, hike dividends (which it recently upped 22%), and buy back shares. When you ask "Where's the beef?" on Wall Street these days, you're likely to be directed to the nearest Golden Arches.

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Fool contributor W.D. Crotty owns shares in McDonald's and Yum! Brands. Click here to see The Motley Fool's disclosure policy.