Starbucks 3rd-quarter sales jump as customer visits, spending increase

MarketsAssociated Press

Starbucks says its quarterly sales jumped 8 percent at established locations in its flagship Americas market, driven by an uptick in customer visits and higher average spending per visit.

On a global basis, the company said the figure rose 7 percent. That also included an 11 percent increase in Asia and a 3 percent increase in the segment encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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In the U.S., which makes up the majority of its Americas unit, the coffee chain has been pushing up sales with offerings like S'more Frappuccinos and Flat White espresso drinks that cost a little more. Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw said in a phone interview that people are even "trading up" to newer, pricier breakfast sandwiches, such as one that is served on a croissant bun. Maw noted that more people are getting food with their orders as well.

Customer visits are also increasing, boosted by the company's mobile app. The app, which incorporates its loyalty program, encourages people to return by rewarding them with "stars," which can be used toward free drinks and food.

Earlier in the day, Dunkin' Donuts saw sales climb 2.9 percent in the U.S. Parent company Dunkin' Brands Group also attributed the increase to an increase in both customer spending and visits.

For its fiscal third quarter, Starbucks earned $626.7 million, or 41 cents per share. Adjusted earnings not including one-time items was 42 cents per share.

Analysts on average expected 41 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Total revenue rose to $4.88 billion in the period, topping the $4.86 billion Wall Street expected.

For the current quarter ending in September, Starbucks expects its per-share earnings to range from 42 cents to 43 cents. The company expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.57 to $1.58 per share.

In after-hours extended trading, Starbucks shares rose 3 percent to $58.28.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SBUX at http://www.zacks.com/ap/SBUX

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