Cold brews drive strong Q3 sales for Starbucks

Marianne Wilson
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Starbucks Corp. reported third-quarter earnings and sales that topped estimates amid soaring U.S. sales of cold beverages. 

The coffee giant also raised its earnings per share outlook and narrowed its forecast for same-store sales growth for fiscal 2021.

Starbucks reported net income of $1.15 billion, or $0.97 per share for the quarter ended June 27, up from a net loss of $678.4 million, or $0.58 per share in the year-ago period. Excluding items, it earned $1.01 per share, topping the $0.78 per share expected by analysts. 

Net sales rose 78% to $7.5 billion for the quarter ended June 27, beating expectations of $7.29 billion. Global same-store sales rose 73%.  

Starbucks’ U.S. same-store sales rose 83% driven by an 80% increase in comparable transactions and a 1% increase in average ticket. (On a two-year basis, the market’s same-store sales rose 10%.) Nearly three-quarters of the company’s beverages sales came from cold beverages.

In China, the company’s second-largest market after the United States, same-store sales rose 19%.

“Starbucks delivered record performance in the third quarter, demonstrating powerful momentum beyond recover,” said president and CEO Kevin Johnson. “Our ability to move with speed and agility and to be out in front of shifting customer behaviors has helped further differentiate Starbucks, positioning us well for this moment.”

The company opened 352 net new stores during the quarter, ending the period with a record 33,295 stores globally, of which 51% and 49% were company-operated and licensed, respectively.

Stores in the United States and China comprised 62% of the company’s global portfolio at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2021, with 15,348 and 5,135 stores, respectively

Starbucks narrowed its outlook for global same-store sales growth for fiscal 2021 to 20% to 21%, compared with a prior range of 18% to 23%. It narrowed its U.S. same-store sales growth outlook to the higher end of its prior range of 17% to 22%. It now forecasts U.S. same-store sales growth of 21% to 22%.