Starbucks ends Q4 on a strong note 

Marianne Wilson
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Starbucks Corp. drove to a strong finish in its fourth quarter, fueled by sales gains in its two most important markets. 

The coffee giant reported net income of $802.9 million, or 67 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 29, compared with $755.8 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings were 70 cents a share, in line with the Street.

Net sales rose 7% to $6.75 billion, topping analysts’ expectations of $6.68 billion. Global comparable store sales increased  5%, driven by a 3% increase in average ticket and a 2% increase in comparable transactions.  Same-store sales rose 6% in the U.S., fueled by cold drinks, and 5% in China. 

For the full year, Starbucks reported consolidated net revenues of $26.5 billion, up 7% over the prior year. Global same-store sales rose 5%. They were also up 5% in the U.S., driven by a 3% increase in average ticket and a 2% increase in comparable transactions.

“I’m very pleased with our strong finish to fiscal 2019, as we sustained positive momentum across each of our business segments,” said Kevin Johnson, president and CEO. “Our strong performance throughout fiscal 2019 gives us confidence in a robust operating outlook for fiscal 2020. We are making meaningful progress against our strategic priorities while streamlining the company, bringing more focus and discipline to everything we do.”

Starbucks  opened 630 net new stores in the quarter, ending its fiscal year with a total of 31,256 stores.