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Starbucks results miss expectations despite record revenue for Q1 2018

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MILAN – Shares of Starbucks slid 4.6 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday despite the company reporting record revenue. In the fiscal first quarter 2018, ended December 31, 2017, net revenues were up 6% to a record $6.073 billion compared to $6.18 billion projected, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company said that global and U.S. comparable store sales rose 2 percent in the quarter, however forecasts had called for same-store sales to be up 3 percent.

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This is the fifth quarter in a row that global same-store sales have been positive, but the company has missed analyst expectations.

Net income rose to $2.25 billion, or $1.57 per share, from $751.8 million, or 51 cents per share, a year ago.

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Excluding items, Starbucks earned 58 cents per share in the latest period, which was a penny better than analysts were expecting.

Not included in that number is a 7 cents per share benefit from changes in the U.S. tax law.

China, Starbucks’s fastest-growing market, generated 6% same-store sales growth, while revenue grew 30% following the company’s acquisition of 1,300 stores.

The company opened 700 net new stores globally, bringing total store count to 28,039 across 76 markets

The coffee giant on Thursday affirmed its commitment to open 2,300 net new stores globally in fiscal 2018 as analysts have raised concerns about the U.S. coffee market being too crowded as traffic growth to large coffee chains has slowed.

The company also reiterated its target of comparable-store sales growth between 3% and 5% globally and revenue growth in the high single digits.

Starbucks said active membership in Starbucks Rewards in the U.S. grew 11% versus the prior year to 14.2 million, with member spend representing 37% of U.S. company-operated sales, and Mobile Order and Pay representing 11% of U.S. company-operated transactions

The company has been trying to use its loyalty reward program, mobile ordering and digital marketing to increase the frequency of guests’ visits. The chain also has been trying to draw people in during the slower afternoon period with discounted items and special promotions.

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