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Starbucks Backs Estimates, Says It Will Open 1,200 Stores in 2002

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(SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report

reaffirmed earnings estimates and said it plans to open 1200 new stores in 2002, including its first in Latin America.

The coffee bar franchiser expects to earn 52 cents or 53 cents a share in 2002, excluding a 2-cent gain, on revenue that are 20% above 2001's. The average analyst estimate was for earnings of 53 cents a share.

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Starbucks said it will open its first store store in Mexico City by the end of this year, through a joint-venture agreement with SC de Mexico S.A., an affiliate of fast-food franchiser Alsea S.A. The company is studying expansion into Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.