Starbucks profit soars as customers come back

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- There may not be a Starbucks on every corner any more, but Americans are finding their way back into the upscale coffee retailer's stores.

Starbucks' profit surged in the quarter ended March 28, topping Wall Street forecasts and prompting the coffee retailer to boost its forecast for 2010.

The world's largest coffee chain reported earnings of $217.3 million, or 28 cents per share. Stripping out restructuring charges, Starbucks posted an adjusted profit of 29 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who typically exclude one-time items from their forecast, were looking for earnings of 25 cents per share.

Sales jumped 9% to $2.5 billion, beating analysts' expectations of $2.4 billion.

Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500)' shares rose nearly 2% on the news in aftermarket trading, after rising 0.5% during regular hours.

Over the past two years, Starbucks cut costs by closing hundreds of stores, trimming its workforce, overhauling its food menu and adjusting drink prices. The changes finally took hold last quarter, when the company reported a profit that quadrupled its earnings from a year earlier.

Since then, Starbucks has teamed up with Burger King to serve Seattle's Best Coffee and announced it will pay out dividends to shareholders for the first time ever beginning Friday.

Same-store sales, which measure sales at stores open at least a year and are a key gauge of customer traffic, climbed 7% in both the United States and international markets.

U.S. growth was driven by a 5% rise in spending and a 3% uptick in traffic, marking the first increase in more than three years. "An important milestone" for the company, said chief financial officer Troy Alstead.

"Clearly, customers are opening up their wallets and coming back to the brand," said Bart Glenn, analyst at D.A. Davidson.

With business reinvigorated in the United States, Alstead said Starbucks' "best days lie ahead of us." He expects the lion's share of growth for the company to be in opening more stores overseas, with China being the largest market.

Starbucks raised its outlook and said it expects to earn between $1.19 and $1.22 per share for the full year. In its last forecast, the company said it expected to earn up to $1.09 per share in 2010.

The company also said it is on track to open 100 stores in the United States and 200 in international markets this year, as announced last fall.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,804.80 26.65 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,765.38 16.98 0.36%
S&P 500 2,070.65 9.42 0.46%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.03 -1.27%
Data as of 10:20am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.62 0.09 0.51%
Apple Inc 111.78 -0.87 -0.77%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.48 1.91%
Intel Corp 36.37 -0.65 -1.76%
Microsoft Corp 47.66 0.14 0.29%
Data as of Dec 19

Sections

New York Magazine reporter Jessica Pressler, who has been caught up in controversy this past week, will not be moving on to a new job at Bloomberg News. More

Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.