Reuters

(Reuters)

Starbucks Shares Lower After Hours Following 2Q Miss, Bleak Forecast

By Retail FOXBusiness

Hurt by macroeconomic pressures in Europe and high commodity costs, Starbucks (SBUX) narrowly missed Wall Street's earnings and sales expectations in the second quarter, sending the shares down 9% after hours.

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Starbucks lowered its fourth-quarter earnings forecast late Thursday and introduced fiscal 2013 estimates sharply below the consensus, citing global economic conditions.

The Seattle, Wash.-based café operator now expects sales to grow 10% to 12% during the quarter with earnings excluding one-time items in the range of 44 cents to 45 cents. Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll are looking for earnings of 45 cents.

Starbucks reported net earnings of $333 million, or 43 cents a share, for the third quarter, compared with a year-earlier $279 million, or 36 cents. Analysts on average were looking for earnings of 46 cents.

“Despite coming in short of our expectations I am pleased with the increasing operating leverage we are seeing,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement.

The record quarterly results demonstrate “the continued strength of our global business and brand, the success of multiple, highly innovative consumer packaged goods initiatives and continued acceleration of our China and Asia-Pacific operations,” he said.

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Revenue for the three months ended July 1 climbed 13% to $3.3 billion from $2.9 billion a year ago, narrowly below the Street’s view of $3.33 billion. Comparable sales were up 7% in the    U.S. and 6% globally.

Shares of the coffee giant edged 4% higher near the end of Thursday’s session ahead of its earnings, but slumped more than 9% to $47.60 after hours. Starbucks shares are up 14% since January and about 31% from 12 months ago.

For the next fiscal year, Starbucks expects to grow sales by 10% to 13% with earnings between $2.04 and $2.14 a share. The Street is looking for fiscal 2013 earnings of $2.28.

The company said it expects to open 1,200 net new stores next year, driven by acceleration in the U.S. and China. Starbucks announced plans earlier this year to open 40 new stores in India, the first scheduled for this August.