Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ: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.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles)