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Starbucks Posts Perky Profit but Sees Commodity Cost Hit Next Year

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) beat Wall Street profit expectations for its fiscal fourth-quarter results by a penny Thursday as revenue came in better than expected but gave a fiscal 2012 outlook with downside to the current consensus as it anticipates a big hit from rising commodity costs.

The coffee retailing giant also said said its board has approved a 31% increase in its quarterly dividend to 17 cents a share from 13 cents, and a new buyback authorization of 20 million common shares.

For the quarter ended Oct. 2, Starbucks reported a non-GAAP profit of $$418.1 million, or 37 cents a share, on revenue of $3.03 billion. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for earnings of 36 cents a share in the September-ended period on revenue of $2.95 billion.

The stock was last quoted at $42.40, up 2.4%, on volume of nearly 800,000, according to

For fiscal 2012, Starbucks said it expects non-GAAP earnings of $1.75 to $1.82 a share vs. the current consensus view of $1.82 a share. The company estimates that commodity cost pressures will lower earnings by 21 cents a share in the coming fiscal year with the majority of that impact being seen in the first half of the year.

Starbucks also said it plans to continue global expansion by opening roughly 800 stores in fiscal 2012; 400 in the Americas, 300 in China and the Asia-Pacific region and 100 in the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] region.

Year-to-date, Starbucks' shares were up more than 28% based on Thursday's regular session close at $41.40, and the stock hit a 52-week high of $43.43 on Oct. 27.

Wall Street was bullish ahead of the report with 16 of the 27 analysts covering the stock at strong buy (8) or buy (8).

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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