Last month, I said there was no stopping McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) -- well, until February comps, anyway. These aren't quite the same tidings investors have become accustomed to from McDonald's, but let's just say that there are plenty of good reasons to give the fast food giant the benefit of the doubt.

McDonald's February comps only increased 1.4%, which is definitely a less impressive number than we're all used to seeing on a month-by-month basis. On the other hand, it's worthwhile to mention that last February was a leap year, so this February included one less day's worth of sales. Stripping out that calendar anomaly, comps would have been up by 5.4%, with comps up across all its geographical segments on a calendar-adjusted basis.

Meanwhile, McDonald's said first-quarter earnings will be pressured due to currency translation. If rates remain where they are now, the company indicated that first-quarter revenue will be hit by at least $600 million, while earnings per share fall by $0.07 to $0.09. In addition, higher commodity costs are expected to shadow the first half of the year.

These aren't exactly great tidings, but things are tough all over, and many companies with an international presence have reported similar results owing to the stronger dollar. Meanwhile, even some of our healthiest companies are proving vulnerable to economic headwinds; Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Costco (NYSE:COST), among others, both recently reported decreasing quarterly profitability.

Still, McDonald's continued resonance with bargain-conscious consumers makes it seem like a better contender than fast-food rivals like Wendy's/Arby's (NYSE:WEN), Burger King (NYSE:BKC), or even struggling coffee giant Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). McDonald's is a clear, longstanding leader in its segment, largely by virtue of giving the people what they want.

McDonald's currently trades at 14 times trailing earnings. That's a tad cheaper than rival Burger King, which has a price-to-earnings ratio of 16, and a bit pricier than Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), with its P/E of 12. Regardless, though, I still think the stock's a safe, solid stock idea for the current times.

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Costco Wholesale, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart Stores are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Costco Wholesale and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Starbucks. The Fool has a disclosure policy.