Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) on Wednesday reported September same-store sales (search) surged 10 percent at company-operated locations, citing strong demand for its handcrafted espresso drinks.

The world's largest specialty coffee retailer, however, expects same-store sales growth to return to its longer-term target range of 3 to 7 percent in October.

Analysts expected the company to post 7.5 percent growth in September same-store sales, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Shares of Starbucks, which closed down 73 cents at $49.81 on Nasdaq, recently traded up in aftermarket action at $51.93.

Starbucks said total revenues rose 5 percent to $653 million for the five-week period ended Oct. 2, 2005, from $625 million for the six-week period in fiscal 2004. However, on a comparable five-week basis, revenue surged 25 percent.

For the 52 weeks ended Oct. 2, total revenues were $6.4 billion, up 20 percent from $5.3 billion posted for the 53 weeks ended in fiscal 2004. Revenues rose 23 percent when calculated on a comparative 52-week basis.

The company said it opened 1,672 net new stores this year, ahead of its global target of 1,500 stores.