Updated from 6:38 p.m. EST.
It's a not-so-hot start to the year for once high-flying Starbucks (SBUX) , at least according to Wall Street.
Starbucks shares fell 4.21% to $56 in after-hours trading on Thursday after the coffee giant reported weaker-than-anticipated revenue and comparable-store sales for the 2017 fiscal first quarter and gave guidance that trailed expectations.
After the closing bell, the Seattle-based company posted revenue of $5.73 billion, below analysts' estimates of $5.85 billion.
Global comparable-store sales rose 3%, while analysts had projected growth of 3.8%. U.S. comparable-store sales increased 3%, which fell short of Wall Street's forecasts for an increase of 4%. Domestic same-store sales were made up of a 5% jump in average ticket and a 2% decline in transactions.
Adjusted earnings of 52 cents a share were in line with Wall Street's expectations.
"Although we believe the company has identified on the right strategic initiatives (e.g., recent changes to the rewards program and mobile payments) and that it continues to operate a premium brand (commanding higher prices, as evidenced by its rise in ticket across its major geographies), management must prove it can rebound from recent pressures," said Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, which owns Starbucks shares.
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz
Active membership in the Starbucks Rewards program grew 16% year-over-year to 12.9 million members in the U.S. Mobile order and pay accounted for 7% of U.S. company-operated transactions in the quarter, up from 3% a year ago. Meanwhile, mobile payment reached 27% of U.S. company-operated transactions.
Starbucks also seems to be having trouble dealing with the rapid rise and popularity of its mobile order and pay technology.
On a conference call with analysts, executives said there has been significant uptick in the usage of mobile order and pay. The jump created operational challenges, especially at its highest volume stores at peak traffic hours. The congestion at the beverage hand-off counter resulted in some customers who entered stores or considered visiting a location, but decided not to complete a transaction, the company said.
Executives said they are working to handle this issue at the highest mobile and order pay stores, such as introducing new in-store procedures and tools, adding new roles and the testing of new digital tools such as text message notifications when a mobile order is ready for pickup.
"We are pleased with the record Q1 financial and operating results we announced today, particularly given that the results were delivered in the face of a challenging environment for restaurant retailers overall," CFO Scott Maw said in a statement.
The company opened 649 net new stores during the period, bringing total stores to 25,734 in 75 countries around the world.
The China and Asia Pacific unit was highlighted as a strong point for the quarter. Comparable-store sales rose 5% and net revenues for the segment rose 18% to $770.8 million year-over-year. Starbucks opens a new store every 15 hours in China, executives said.
Fiscal 2017 earnings are expected to be between $2.12 and $2.14 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are modeling full-year earnings of $2.14 a share. The company expects fiscal second quarter adjusted earnings between 44 cents and 45 cents per share. Wall Street is projecting earnings of 46 cents per share.
More than 12.01 million of Starbucks' shares traded today vs. its average 30-day volume of 7.25 million shares per day.
This was the last earnings call for CEO Howard Schultz who will step down on April 3. He will be succeeded by Kevin Johnson, the current president and COO of Starbucks.
Meet the soon-to-be CEO of Starbucks Kevin Johnson.