Reuters

(Reuters)

Starbucks Quarterly Cafe Sales Top Expectations, Shares Rise

Earnings Reuters

Starbucks Corp (SBUX) said on Thursday sales at its coffee shops in the Americas region grew more than expected, calming concerns about cooling growth and sending shares up 4.4 percent in after-hours trading.

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Sales at Starbucks shops open at least 13 months were up 7 percent in the Americas region for the fiscal second quarter that ended March 29. Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix expected a rise of 5.1 percent.

Quarterly same-store sales included a 2 percent rise in traffic. Starbucks' Americas region contributes the majority of company revenue.

Customer visits to Starbucks' Americas-region cafes have decelerated in the last year and a half, causing some investors and analysts to worry that the company's increased focus on food had slowed service.

Same-store sales were up 5 percent in the Americas region in the first quarter that ended Dec. 28. That included a 2 percent increase in traffic, which was an acceleration from the 1 percent gain posted in the prior quarter.

Shares in Starbucks were up $2.19 to $51.62 on the news.

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(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles)