Starbucks Reports Higher Q4 Profit While 2014 Forecast Falls Short

Starbucks' (Nasdaq: SBUX) fourth-quarter earnings rose 34 percent, the result of a double-digit increase in sales, the coffee company reported on Wednesday, Oct 30. The company reported a profit of $481.1 million, or 63 cents a share, up from $359 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier. Year-over-year net revenue rose 13 percent to $3.8 billion while net revenue for the fiscal year was up 12 percent to $14.9 billion.

Global comp store sales were up 7 percent driven by a 5 percent increase in store traffic. With more customers in Starbucks stores, the company saw revenue gains from the addition of premium tea, juice and bakery products from recently acquired companies. Starbucks also has consolidated its cafe, grocery and loyalty card programs which the company says has bolstered sales. The quarter saw the opening of 558 net new stores internationally, including the 1,000th store in both China and Japan.

"The fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 capped off by far the best year in Starbucks 42-year-history," said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, in a press release. "Our results were driven by disciplined, ongoing efforts to elevate the value and relevance of the Starbucks brand, continued innovation and the success of our efforts to deepen our connection to customers and communities around the world."

Despite fourth-quarter profits, Starbucks conservatively forecast 2014 profit below Wall Street's projections. The company forecast for fiscal 2014 earnings is in the range of $2.55 to $2.65 per share, lower than the $2.67 per share estimated by analysts. Starbucks share price fell three per cent in after hours trading on Wednesday to $78.20 as investors reacted to the news.

For more, see:
This Starbucks press release
This Wall Street Journal article

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