Starbucks earnings top estimates as sales rebound quicker than expected in U.S., China


People wear protective face masks outside Starbucks in Union Square as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 29, 2020 in New York City.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

Starbucks is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 31 cents expected
  • Revenue: $6.06 billion expected

The coronavirus pandemic has upset daily routines and commutes, including those of coffee drinkers. Last quarter, Starbucks swung to a loss and its global same-store sales plunged 40%.

But both analysts and the company are more optimistic about its fiscal fourth quarter. Starbucks said in late July that it expects adjusted earnings per share in a range of 18 cents to 33 cents. U.S. same-store sales are expected to shrink by 12% to 17%, and Chinese same-store sales are expected to be roughly flat to down 5%. The two countries are Starbucks’ largest markets.

Analyst estimates from Refinitiv forecast a net sales decline of just 10%. Last quarter, revenue plummeted 38%.

The fiscal fourth quarter also brings the return of Starbucks’ popular Pumpkin Spice Lattes, a seasonal drink that has lured customers back for repeat visits for nearly two decades. The drink returned in late August, its earliest launch of the fall menu ever.

Shares of Starbucks, which has a market value of $103 billion, are about flat so far this year.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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