Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) on Wednesday reported higher quarterly net earnings and raised its profit forecast for the year, helped by the rapid growth of new coffee shops and improved profit margins.

The company's shares shot up 99 cents to $47.50 in after-hours trade on the Inet electronic brokerage immediately following the announcement.

Net income for the fiscal second quarter ended April 3 rose to $101 million, or 24 cents per share, from $79 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago.

The results were in line with Wall Street analysts' average estimate of 24 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

In a statement, Starbucks raised its earnings forecast for the year to between $1.17 per share and $1.19 per share, excluding the impact of expensing stock options. It had previously expected to earn between $1.15 per share and $1.17 per share.

The company said earnings for the fourth quarter are expected to rise more than the 20 to 25 percent it targeted earlier this year. Starbucks increased its fourth-quarter forecasted earnings range to 29 cents to 30 cents a share.

Third-quarter earnings, however, are expected to be in line with previous estimates of 29 cents to 30 cents a share.

Wall Street analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of $1.17 per share for the year, 29 cents per share for the third quarter, and 29 cents per share for the fourth quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

Starbucks shares closed at $46.41 Wednesday on Nasdaq.