Starbucks Begins Turnaround

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Starbucks ( SBUX) profit skyrocketed in the fourth quarter, bolstered by lower costs.

During the quarter, the company earned $150 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with $5.4 million, or 1 cent, in the year-ago period.

Excluding restructuring costs the company actually earned 24 cents a share, better than the 21 cents analysts forecast.

Revenue slipped 4% to $2.42 billion from $2.52 billion last year, while same-store sales inched down 1%. The company said more customers are returning to their coffee shops.

Sell Starbucks!: Against the Grain

Starbucks has closed stores amid the recession in an effort to combat lower customer demand. Recently it has also had to contend with new competitors like McDonald's ( MCD) McCafe.

Looking ahead, Starbucks expects to see EPS 15% to 20% higher than fiscal 2009 earnings of 80 cents a share.

Shares of the coffee retailer are rising 2.5% to $20.28 in after-market trading.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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