Starbucks Shares Dip on Light Outlook

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Starbucks ( SBUX) fell in Thursday's extended session after the coffee seller topped Wall Street's consensus view for its latest quarter but came up a bit short on its full-year guidance because of expected commodity cost pressures in the first half of 2012.

Seattle-based Starbucks reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of $382.1 million, or 50 cents a share, on revenue of $3.44 billion. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 49 cents a share in the December-ended period on revenue of $3.29 billion.

The stock was last quoted at $47.80, down 1.1%, on after-hours volume of nearly 700,000.



The company's operating margins deteriorated across its businesses and geographies in the latest quarter, including a drop to 21.8% in the Americas from 22.6% in the same period a year earlier, a decline of 80 basis points.

For fiscal 2012, Starbucks forecast earnings of $1.78 to $1.82 a share, slightly below the current Wall Street consensus view for a profit of $1.83 a share. The company said it expects "unfavorable" commodity costs to impact results this year with the brunt of the impact coming in the first half of the year.

As a result, it sees earnings per share growth of 10% in the first half of 2012, and 25% in the second half.

The company's global same-store sales rose 9% in the latest quarter, and it opened 241 net new stores during the quarter. Starbucks also said that more than 100 million Starbucks- and Tazo-branded K-Cup packs were shipped in the first quarter since the product launch on Nov. 1. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR), which partners with Starbucks on the K-cup initiative, is slated to post its quarterly results on Feb. 1, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of 36 cents a share on revenue of $1.06 billion for its fiscal first quarter.

Starbucks' shares have been riding high, up nearly 45% in the past year, and hitting a 52-week high of $48.39 last week. The stock closed Thursday's regular session at $48.34.

Of the 28 analysts covering the stock, 19 are bullish at either strong buy (8) or buy (11), and the median 12-month price target sitting at $51.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Starbucks for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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