Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

said fourth-quarter earnings were up 21% from a year ago, as the coffee retailer continued to boast strong sales.

The company earned $69.6 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $57.7 million, or 14 cents a share, a year ago. Results were in line with analysts' expectations, according to Thomson First Call.

Investors took the stock down in the after-hours session. It was recently crossing at 57 cents, or 1.7%, to $32.43.

Revenue came in above estimates, jumping 25% to $1.1 billion from $865 million a year ago. Analysts had forecast $1.07 billion, according to Thomson First Call. Retail revenue increased 24.3% to $913.1 million, while specialty revenue rose 28.5% to $167.9 million.

Looking ahead, the company said that it plans to open approximately 1,300 new stores on a global basis next year. Starbucks has said it has a long-term target of 25,000 stores. It currently has 7,000 shops. The company plans to open approximately 350 locations internationally.

Starbucks expects 2004 revenue growth of 20% and same-store sales growth in a range of 3% to 7%, with monthly anomalies. The coffeehouse expects earnings of 83 cents to 85 cents a share.