Starbucks Earnings Not Hot Enough for Investors

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Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday. The coffee giant had $0.43 in earnings per share (EPS) on $4.9 billion in revenues, versus Thomson Reuters consensus estimates that call for $0.43 in EPS on $4.90 billion in revenue. The same period from the previous year had $0.37 in EPS on $4.18 billion in revenue.

Global comparable store sales increased 7%, which was driven by a 3% increase in traffic. In terms of the breakdown Americas comparable sales increased 7%, China/Asia Pacific comparable sales increased 9%, and EMEA comparable sales increased 4%.

During the quarter, Starbucks opened 524 net new stores globally, including the first Starbucks stores in Panama and in Azerbaijan.

In terms of its fiscal 2016 guidance the company expects approximately 2,700 new store openings globally, with the majority (1,800) in the Americas. Starbucks expects full-year EPS in the range of $1.87 to $1.89 and full-year consolidated revenue growth is expected to be over 10% as well, compared to consensus estimates of $1.59 in EPS on $19.15 billion in revenue. For the fiscal first quarter, the company expects EPS in the range of $0.44 to $0.45 compared to the consensus estimate of $0.47.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO, commented on earnings:

Starbucks record Q4 financial results, highlighted by stunning comp store sales increases of 8% globally, 9% in the U.S. driven by a 4% increase in global traffic, demonstrate the strength and relevance of the Starbucks brand around the world. And our results underscore the success of the investments we continue to make in our people and business, in new beverage and food innovation and in groundbreaking technology innovation that is deepening our connection to customers everywhere.

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Scott Maw, CFO of Starbucks, added:

Starbucks performance in fourth quarter reflected a continuation of the pattern of accelerating momentum we saw with each successive quarter of fiscal 2015. And our fourth quarter results are particularly gratifying in that they were achieved despite the increase, and acceleration, of the significant partner and digital investments we are making to drive sustained, profitable growth around the world and into the future.

Shares of Starbucks closed Thursday down 1.6% at $62.50, with a consensus analyst price target of $64.13 and a 52-week trading range of $37.46 to $63.84. Following the release of the earnings report, shares were down 2.4% at $61.00 in the after-hours trading session.