OK, this is getting kind of boring -- but in a good way. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) blew past analysts' same-store sales expectations yet again in October. Mickey D's managed to grace us with one of the few actual positive headlines in the market today. Consumers can't seem to get enough of this company, and investors should feel the same way about its shares.

McDonald's same-store sales rose 8.2% in October. Even here in the U.S., where the economy's weak at the moment, comps were up an impressive 5.3%. Overseas, European comps increased 9.8%, and comps in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia increased 11.5%.

In late October, even as consumers worldwide were apparently scarfing down chicken nuggets and double cheeseburgers, my colleague Rick Munarriz nominated McDonald's in his Throw This Stock Away series. I disagreed, although I'm glad he brought up a contradictory point of view. These October comps just reinforce my longtime opinion that the company's a keeper -- even more so now that its value proposition is really making its mark with consumers.

I've recently voiced doubts about the fortunes of several other restaurant companies in this tough economy. In particular, I think Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA), and Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) (NYSE:CMG-B) may experience hardship in the near term. (I do like keeping Chipotle on my watch list, though. It's a great company with a great brand -- and of course, McDonald's is its former parent.)

McDonald's will soon face some tough comparisons after all this excellence, but so what? It's been up against tough comparisons for quite some time now, yet it's continued to admirably beat analysts' expectations. I'm really beginning to believe that too many investors have tended to underestimate the power of the Golden Arches.

Like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), McDonald's continued success does owe a great deal to the weak consumer spending environment. And McDonald's does trade at 14 times earnings, which may sound a bit steep amid the growing pool of consumer stocks with single-digit multiples. Then again, it's trading at a lower multiple than the restaurant stocks mentioned above, and about on par with direct rival Burger King (NYSE:BKC).

Sometimes you've got to pay up for performance, and McDonald's has performance in spades. It's also got the leadership position in cheap fast food. Heck, it even pays a dividend! I continue to believe that McDonald's is a high-quality -- and admirably safe -- long-term stock for investors' portfolios.

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