Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) Wednesday reported a 29 percent rise in quarterly earnings, beating Wall Street targets on sales of its frothy coffee drinks, price increases and strong global demand.

The company also raised its profit outlook for the year and said it would open more stores in 2006 than this year, sending its shares up more than 3 percent in after-hours trade.

Net income for the fiscal third quarter rose to $126 million, or 31 cents per share, from $98 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago, and beating the Wall Street consensus target by a penny per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net revenue rose 21 percent to $1.6 billion. In the United States — the company's biggest market — revenue increased 20 percent to $219 million due to new store openings and price increases that helped push up same-store sales 7 percent.

International revenue rose 32 percent to $262 million, helped by new retail outlets and more sales, the company said.

Dan Geiman, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen, said the company's plan to boost its worldwide store openings to 1,800 from 1,500 this year was positive. He said the slightly better than expected profit was helping to push the stock up.

The company currently operates more than 9,500 retail outlets across the world.

"That's a pretty decent increase from 1,500 planned openings this year," Geiman said. "What's driving the stock is the fact that they beat it (earnings) by a penny."

For fiscal 2005, Seattle-based Starbucks expects to earn between $1.19 per share and $1.20 per share, above its previous target of $1.17 per share to $1.19 per share.

Analysts had been expecting earnings of about $1.19 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

In fiscal 2006, Starbucks forecast earnings of $1.44 per share to $1.47 per share, excluding any impact from expensing stock options (search). Wall Street's average estimate is $1.45 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Starbucks share rose 3.1 percent to $51.91 in after-hours trade on INET, up from its Nasdaq (search) close of $50.35.