Starbucks Backs Guidance

Starbucks' ( SBUX) investors showed themselves to be an increasingly ornery crowd Tuesday, offering the shares down immediately after the coffee-shop chain reiterated 2004 guidance that is a penny short of existing analyst forecasts.

Starbucks said in a press release covering its shareholder meeting that it expects to earn 86 cents or 87 cents a share in fiscal 2004, which ends in September. The company forecast a 25% rise in overall revenue, which comes out to about $5.09 billion in 2004, and same-store sales growth of 3% to 7%.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson One Analytics were forecasting earnings of 88 cents a share on revenue of $5.14 billion. On Jan. 21, Starbucks raised the revenue guidance from an old target of 20%, while in December it took up the earnings guidance from 84 cents to 87 cents.

Recently, shares were off their low of the session, but still down 22 cents, or 0.6%, to $37.45.

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