NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Starbucks (SBUX) are jumping in Friday morning trading, after the coffee chain beat analyst expectations when it reported fourth quarter earnings after the market closed Thursday.

Starbucks recorded earnings per share of 56 cents on $5.71 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected to see earnings of 55 cents on $5.69 billion in revenue.

Despite the earnings beat, there does remain some cause for concern: U.S. same-store sales grew by only 4% year-over-year when analysts had expected to see a figure of 4.9%.

"Certainly all retailers are facing challenging operating conditions today," Starbucks President and COO Kevin Johnson said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Friday. "Certainly the election is creating a lot of noise in the market. That's requiring retailers, us included, to work harder to break through. Certainly the shift in traffic patterns from malls -as evidenced by the back-to-school season that was very weak - I think that's creating challenges for all retailers."

Johnson also cautioned people from reading too much into the same-store sales figure.

"Don't get caught up in a short-term view of same-store comparables," he said, pointing to Starbucks' 6% growth in the figure year-over-year in North and South America combined.

(Starbucks stock is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of Cramer's holdings with a free trial.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate STARBUCKS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SBUX

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