Starbucks Express Keeps Rolling

For fiscal 2006, the company expects to open about 1,800 new stores.
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said fiscal third-quarter revenue rose 21%, and based on its latest profit results the coffee seller raised its forecast for the full year.

For the quarter ended July 3, net revenue rose to $1.6 billion from $1.3 billion for the same period in fiscal 2004. The company earned $126 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $98 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago.

Company-operated retail revenue increased 22% to $1.4 billion for the quarter.

Starbucks continues to plan on opening about 1,500 new stores worldwide in fiscal 2005. The Seattle-based company is targeting revenue growth of around 20% for the fiscal year. Fiscal year 2004 included an extra week of operations in the fourth quarter, and as a result, total reported net revenue growth for this fiscal year's fourth quarter will be lower than 20%.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 30 cents and revenue of $1.6 billion. In extended trading Starbucks shares were up 3.5% to $52.10.

Starbucks expects same-store sales growth to be at the high end of its 3% to 7% target range for the remainder of fiscal 2005, with monthly anomalies. The company projected earnings of 29 cents to 30 cents a share for the fiscal fourth quarter and is raising its full-year EPS target to $1.19 to $1.20, from its previous goal of $1.17 to $1.19.

Additionally, the company believes capital spending will be at the low end of its original fiscal year estimate of $600 million to $650 million.

For fiscal 2006, Starbucks expects to open around 1,800 new stores globally. Starbucks is targeting total net revenue growth of roughly 20%. Excluding any effect from expensing stock options, the company set its profit goal at $1.44 to $1.47 a share.

Wall Street is calling for a profit of $1.19 a share in fiscal 2005 and $1.45 in fiscal 2006.