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Starbucks Brews a Stronger Dividend

SEATTLE, Wash. ( TheStreet) -- Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) posted better-than-expected revenues after the closing bell Wednesday, but a mixed profit reading led the coffee chain's shares lower in after-hours trading.

Starbucks bumped its dividend up 30% to 13 cents per share, but investors seemed to shrug off the news after the firm posted earnings per share of 27 cents, two pennies shy of Wall Street analysts' average estimate. Excluding one-time charges, earnings were 29 cents per share, in line with expectations. Analysts typically exclude such extraordinary items from their estimates.

Shares of Starbucks fell 2.3% to $25.17 ahead of the report, and tumbled another 2.7% in after-hours trading.

Among the brighter points in Starbucks' report was word its same-store sales in the U.S., a key metric in the retail sector that measures sales at stores open at least one year, jumped 9% in the thirteen weeks ended June 27. Analysts expected an increase of just 6%, compared with a 5% decrease in comp sales in the third quarter last year.

Total revenues came in better than expected at $2.61 billion, driven by growth of 6% in global comps. The average ticket price rose 3% in the U.S. and 2% internationally, also helping to lift the top-line figure.

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he was "particularly pleased" about the increase in store traffic last quarter despite the still-challenging global economic environment.
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