Starbucks Earnings: Third Consecutive Quarter of Steaming Profit Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Starbucks purchases, roasts and sells whole bean coffees, along with brewed coffees, Italian-style espresso beverages, cold blended beverages and a selection of accessories.

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Starbucks Corporation Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for the retail-restaurants rose to $359 million (46 cents per share) vs. $358.3 million (47 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 0.2% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 11% to $3.36 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Starbucks Corporation beat the mean analyst estimate of 45 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.33 billion.

Quoting Management: “Our Q4 and overall 2012 fiscal year performance demonstrates the strength of our business and brand,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company. “The resiliency and relevance of our U.S. retail business, acceleration of the Channel Development business and expansion in Asia all contributed significantly to our strong results. I am incredibly proud of our 200,000 Starbucks partners around the world who have contributed to the success of the company and I am optimistic about achieving our aspirations for the future. ” “Our excellent fourth quarter and full fiscal year results reflect the strength of our business and the solid execution by our partners, specifically illustrated in the fourth quarter by strong traffic growth, continued momentum in Channel Development, and rapid earnings growth,” stated Troy Alstead, chief financial officer. “By delivering relevant innovation to our customers while increasing focus on execution and operating efficiencies, we drove sales growth and expanded profit margins. On the strength of our business in fiscal 2012 and the momentum we carry into the new fiscal year, we remain confident in our fiscal 2013 outlook of continued strong profitable growth on a global scale.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 19.3% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 18.5%.

The company topped expectations last quarter after falling short of forecasts in the third quarter with net income of 43 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 45 cents per share.

Looking Forward: Over the past ninety days, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has fallen from 57 cents per share to 56 cents, indicating that analysts are growing pessisimistic about the company’s performance next quarter. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has been unchanged at $1.78 a share.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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