Starbucks raises forecast and dividend as traffic climbs, shares climb

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Starbucks Corp. on Thursday raised its forecast for the year after the coffee chain said more customers are going to its cafes, even in the challenging global economy.

The Seattle-based company says global revenue at cafes open at least a year rose 6 per cent in the fiscal fourth quarter, driven by higher customer traffic.

The measure is a key gauge because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.

Starbucks lifted its guidance for the year ending in September 2013 to $2.06 to $2.15 per share.

That’s up from its previous outlook of $2.04 to $2.14 per share. Analysts expect $2.14 for the year, according to FactSet.

The company also lifted its quarterly dividend 24 per cent, to 21 cents.

For the July-September period, Starbucks earned $359 million, or 46 cents per share, from $358.5 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago.

The year-ago results benefited from a gain related to a real estate sale. Revenue rose 11 per cent to $3.36 billion.

Analysts expected profit of 45 cents per share on revenue of $3.39 billion.

Shares rose $2.82, or 6.1 per cent, to $49.44 in after-market trading. The stock had closed up 72 cents to $46.62 in regular trading.