Starbucks sales, earnings per share forecast miss revenue expectations

Ecommerce Associated Press

Starbucks on Thursday reported higher sales for its fiscal fourth quarter but the results missed Wall Street expectations and shares of the coffee chain declined.

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The Seattle-based company said global sales at established locations rose 5 percent, including in the Americas and Asia. The company said the increase was driven by a mix of higher customer traffic and increased spending per visit.

In the flagship U.S. market, Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said stronger food and tea sales boosted results. As Starbucks faces more competition from fast-food chains offering specialty coffee drinks, the company has branched into different areas, such as food.

This summer, the chain also launched its Fizzio soda drinks that are made to order. While the drinks are doing "exactly what we expected it to do," Alstead said Starbucks isn't planning a national launch in 2015 and will instead focus on growing its tea business. He said tea accounted for a "high single digit" percentage of sales last year, and that the company expects it to reach "well into the teens" over time.

For the quarter ended Sept. 28, Starbucks Corp. said it earned $587.9 million, or 77 cents per share. Not including one-time item, it earned 74 cents per share, which was in line with Wall Street expectations.

Revenue came in at $4.18 billion, short of the $4.24 billion analysts expected, according to FactSet.

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For the current quarter ending in December, Starbucks expects its per-share earnings to range from 79 cents to 81 cents. Analysts expected 83 cents per share.

The company expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.08 to $3.13 per share.

Shares of Starbucks were down 5 percent at $73.45.