Starbucks Grinds Out a Better Q1

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When Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the coffee giant said that it had $0.75 in earnings per share (EPS) and $6.60 billion in revenue. That compares with consensus estimates of $0.65 in EPS and $6.49 billion in revenue, as well as the $0.65 per share and $6.07 billion posted in the same period of last year.

During this quarter, global comparable store sales increased 4%, driven by a 3% increase in average ticket. Separately, Americas and U.S. comparable store sales increased 4%, with transactions flat.

At the same time, the company opened 541 net new stores in the first quarter, making a total of 29,865 stores at the end of the quarter, a 7% increase over the prior year. Over two-thirds of the net new store openings were outside the United States, and approximately 50% were licensed.

Looking ahead to 2019, the firm expects to see EPS in the range of $2.68 to $2.73 and comparable sales growth of 3% to 4%. Consensus estimates call for $2.65 in EPS and $26.12 billion in revenue for the year.

Kevin Johnson, president and CEO, commented:

Starbucks delivered solid operating results in the first quarter, demonstrating continued momentum in our business, as we drive our growth-at-scale agenda with focus and discipline. We are particularly pleased with the sequential improvement in quarterly comparable store transactions in the U.S., underpinned by our digital initiatives and improved execution of our in-store experience. With this solid start to the fiscal year, we are on track to deliver on our full-year commitments.

Shares of Starbucks were last seen up more than 4% at $67.54, in a 52-week range of $47.37 to $68.98. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $68.44.

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