Starbucks meets 4Q expectations as traffic, spending in stores improves

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In this July 16, 2015, photo, a woman walks out of a Starbucks with a beverage in hand, in New York. Starbucks reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Starbucks Corp. delivered another quarter of sales gains as more customers visited its stores worldwide. But the coffee giant's shares slipped in extended trading Thursday after it issued a modest profit forecast for the current quarter.

The Seattle-based company said it expects to earn 44 to 45 cents per share for the current period, just shy of the 47 cents per share that analysts were expecting.

Starbucks otherwise reported an impressive fiscal fourth quarter — earning $652.5 million, or 43 cents, meeting analyst forecasts according to FactSet. Revenue jumped nearly 18 percent to $4.91 billion, just ahead of forecasts.

The gains were made on improved traffic and spending in its stores as more people indulged on food and higher-priced drinks.

Starbucks said that revenue in its stores open at least a year — considered a key indicator of financial performance — jumped 8 percent in the fourth quarter.

CEO Howard Schultz said the sales gains "demonstrate the strength and relevance of the Starbucks brand around the world."

The profit gains came despite increased spending on the company's digital efforts, such as its mobile order and pay service, and added spending on staff, including wage increases and education reimbursement.

Starbucks earned $2.76 billion for the full year on revenue of $19.16 billion. For its current fiscal year, Starbucks expects to earn between $1.87 and $1.89 per share, in line with market forecasts of $1.88 per share.

The company, which currently has more than 23,000 stores worldwide, plans to add 1,800 new stores in the 2016 fiscal year.

Starbucks shares have increased 52 percent since the beginning of the year, far outpacing the Standard & Poor's 500 index, which has risen slightly more than 1 percent. In late trading, the stock declined 61 cents to $61.89.


This story's headlines have been corrected to show that Starbucks is reporting results for the fourth quarter, not the third quarter.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SBUX at


Keywords: Starbucks, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings

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