Starbucks Corp reported a profit that topped analysts' views and boosted its 2010 profit forecast, as a healing U.S. economy brewed up an increase in customer visits and sales.
Starbucks racked up its first quarterly growth in U.S. customer traffic in more than three years, according to Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead, underscoring expectations of a gradual recovery in consumer spending in the food industry.
Shares rose about 1 percent in extended trade.
We feel confident we're seeing a recovery, I'd also caution that we also see unemployment remaining high. That's going to weigh on the whole sector for a long time, Alstead told Reuters. Consumers are feeling a bit better and probably everybody in the industry is getting some benefit from that.
Earlier on Wednesday, McDonald's Corp also posted better-than-forecast quarterly results as sales at established restaurants picked up faster than expected in the United States and Europe.
Starbucks' net income jumped to $217.3 million, or 28 cents per share, for the fiscal second quarter, from the year-ago quarter's profit of $25 million, or 3 cents a share.
Excluding restructuring charges, Starbucks earned 29 cents a share in the latest quarter, topping analysts' call for a profit of nearly 25 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total net revenue rose almost 9 percent to $2.53 billion during the quarter ended March 28. Sales at U.S. restaurants open at least 13 months jumped 7 percent, versus analysts expectations for about a 4 percent increase.
That was driven by a 3 percent increase in customer visits, or traffic, and a 5 percent rise in spending per visit.
The Seattle-based chain, which slashed costs and shuttered more than 900 outlets in a broad-based restructuring, raised its fiscal 2010 earnings forecast to a range of $1.19 to $1.22 per share, from $1.05 to $1.08 per share previously.
Shares in Starbucks, which closed at $25.39 on the Nasdaq, rose to $25.67 in extended trade.
Shares of many restaurant chains have spiked this year, leaving little room for further gains, and expectations had been high going into the quarterly results.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Editing by Edwin Chan, Bernard Orr)