Starbucks' results top estimates but coronavirus slows sales

1010 WINS Newsroom
January 28, 2020 - 5:00 pm

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2020, file photo customers come and go at a Starbucks on South Claiborne Ave. in New Orleans. Starbucks Corp. reports financial earns on Tuesday, Jan. 28. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

It was a happy holiday at Starbucks, but the company's sales momentum could start to slow due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

New drinks like the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew were a hit with customers, helping the Seattle-based coffee giant beat Wall Street's forecasts in the October-December period. Starbucks reaffirmed its 2020 profit guidance for now, but said it has already closed more than half of its stores in China.

Starbucks reported Tuesday that its earnings rose 16% to $886 million in its fiscal first quarter. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring items like restructuring charges, were 79 cents per share. That beat Wall Street's forecast of 76 cents.

Starbucks said same-store sales — or sales at stores open at least 13 months — jumped 5% worldwide in the October-December period, ahead of analysts' forecast of 4.4%. Revenue was up 7% to $7.1 billion, in line with analysts' forecasts.

Starbucks said 1.4 million U.S. customers joined its Starbucks Rewards loyalty program during the quarter. The company said demand for mobile ordering and payment is growing in the U.S.

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