Shares of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) soared 10% on Thursday after the company delivered solid results for the fourth quarter of 2023. Revenue and earnings grew double-digits year-over-year, surpassing expectations. The stock has gained 9% over the past one month. Here are a few notable points from the Q4 earnings report:
Strong Q4 numbers
Starbucks’ consolidated net revenues grew 11% year-over-year to $9.4 billion in Q4 2023, beating expectations. Global comparable store sales rose 8%, driven by increases in average ticket and comparable transactions. GAAP net income grew 39% to $1.2 billion, or $1.06 per share. Adjusted EPS increased 31% to $1.06, exceeding estimates.
US & China
The US and China are Starbucks’ biggest markets. In Q4, revenues in the US increased 13% YoY to $6.4 billion. Comparable store sales grew 8%, driven by a 2% rise in transactions and a 6% growth in ticket. Licensed store revenue grew 18%.
As mentioned on the quarterly conference call, customers in the US are opting for more premium beverages and the company is catering to this preference through product innovation. Starbucks is also seeing strong food attach, driven by its core breakfast sandwiches and promotional items.
Revenues in China increased 8% to $840.6 million. Comparable store sales rose 5%, helped by an 8% increase in transactions. Average ticket, however, fell 3% in the quarter.
At the end of the fourth quarter, stores in the US and China made up 61% of the company’s global portfolio. Starbucks had 16,352 stores in the US at the end of Q4, up 3% YoY. The number of stores in China totaled 6,806 at the end of the quarter, up 13% YoY.
In fiscal year 2024, comparable store sales in the US are expected to grow 5-7%. Store count in the US is expected to grow by approx. 4% for the year. In China, Starbucks expects a higher comp in Q1 2024 as it laps prior-year mobility restrictions. Following that, from Q2 through Q4, comps are expected to range between 4-6%. The store count in China is projected to increase by around 13%.
For FY2024, Starbucks expects consolidated revenue growth at the low end of the 10-12% range. Global comparable store sales are expected to grow 5-7%. Global new-store growth is forecasted to be approx. 7%, with the majority of that growth coming from outside the US. The company aims to reach around 41,000 stores worldwide by the end of FY2024. In terms of the bottom line, both GAAP EPS and adjusted EPS are expected to grow in the 15-20% range for the year.
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