Starbucks tops sales estimates as holiday favourites lure customers

 Starbucks tops sales estimates as holiday favourites lure customers

(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp exceeded Wall Street forecasts for quarterly sales and earnings, helped by aggressive promotions and the popularity of holiday-themed beverages, driving shares 4 percent higher on Thursday.

Globally, Starbucks' same-restaurant sales rose 4 percent during the final three months of 2018, topping analysts' average estimate of a 2.8 percent increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Its promotions included holiday favourites such as Peppermint Mochas and Gingerbread lattes, while its Draft Nitro cold brew, which aims to creates a beer-like experience, has been pulling in customers during slow afternoons.

The company has also teamed up with food-delivery services in China to help boost sales as it faces rising competition from local upstarts.

"Overall, we believe it was a solid quarter and this is another quarter that reinforces our view that the turnaround is showing progress and gaining some steam," Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said.

Sales from Starbucks' Americas and U.S. business reached a record $4.6 billion in the three months ended Dec. 30, while sales from China, its second biggest market, trumped estimates.

Total net revenue climbed 9.2 percent to $6.63 billion, beating analysts' forecasts of $6.49 billion.

Quarterly net earnings attributable to Starbucks fell to $760.6 million from $2.25 billion a year earlier, reflecting nearly $1.8 billion in gains last year from acquisitions and the sale of some businesses.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 68 cents per share, beating estimates by 3 cents.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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Updated Date: Jan 25, 2019 05:05:25 IST