Starbucks Profit Up 22 Percent, Meets Expectation

Starbucks Corp. on Thursday said its quarterly profit rose 22 percent from a year earlier, meeting Wall Street expectations, and the coffee house giant projected profits would grow in the coming fiscal year.

Seattle-based Starbucks earned $53.2 million in its fourth quarter and $181.2 million, or 46 cents a share, for the full year, matching forecasts from analysts polled by research firm Thomson Financial/First Call.

Revenues for the quarter rose 18 percent to $690 million from $584 million a year earlier, and rose 22 percent to $2.6 billion for the full year.

Starbucks projected fiscal 2002 profits of 54 to 55 cents per share, including a capital gain of 2 cents a share from selling shares in its Japanese unit to the public in October, with revenues rising by 20 percent.

In the first half of its 2002 fiscal year, Starbucks expects earnings per share growth of 25 percent, with growth slowing to 10 percent to 15 percent in the second half.

The company also projected revenues would grow by 20 percent to 25 percent in the years from 2003 to 2005.

Starbucks plans to add more than 1,200 new coffee shops to its base of nearly 5,000 in fiscal 2002 and projected sales at stores open more than a year, or same-store sales, would show growth in mid-single-digit percentages.

Same-store sales have lingered at 1 percent growth in recent months, Starbucks' worst performance since it went public in 1992.

Starbucks shares closed up 5 cents at $19.17 Thursday before the report was released. Year-to-date, Starbucks shares are down 13 percent. By comparison, the broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which includes Starbucks, is down 15 percent.