CHICAGO (AP) _ McDonald's Corp. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profits rose 9 percent, with strong sales in the United States and Europe offsetting weaker revenues caused by economic troubles elsewhere.

The company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split effective March 5. McDonald's share price has risen 61 percent in the past year on strong confidence in the company's domestic turnaround strategy.

For the three months that ended Dec. 31, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain reported net income of $447.1 million, or 64 cents a diluted share, compared to $410.9 million, or 58 cents a diluted share, in the comparable period a year earlier.

Both quarters include charges taken to restructure and introduce a just-in-time ordering system to domestic restaurants. Excluding those, income rose 13 percent to $783.2 million from $695.2 million.

The earnings matched Wall Street expectations, according to a survey of analysts by First Call Corp. In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of McDonald's rose $2.93 3/4, or 4 percent, to $78.81 1/4.

Systemwide sales rose 9 percent to $3.22 billion from $2.95 billion. The company does not reveal exact figures from stores open at least a year, an industry measure of performance, but said it saw ``positive'' results.

During the year, the company capitalized on its promotion tie-in with Disney to increase its Happy Meal sales. It also benefited from increased sales of larger sandwiches with Monopoly, Big Mac and Teenie Beanie Baby promotions. The company this year plans to revive Teenie Beanie Babies for a third time; analysts say the previous two promotions are the all-time leaders in sales.

Analysts say McDonald's has experienced a remarkable turnaround in the past year as it decentralized its domestic operations to give grumbling franchisees more say in developing their menus and planning promotions. The company also has benefited from increased expansion overseas, particularly in Europe, where revenues soon will exceed domestic sales despite having far fewer restaurants per capita.