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... Meanwhile, Starbucks sales surge in Q1

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain, said first-quarter profit rose 82 percent as new food and holiday drinks boosted customer traffic and sales.

Net income increased to $983.1 million, or $1.30 a share, from $540.7 million, or 71 cents, a year earlier, the Seattle-based company said in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 80 cents, matching the average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Starbucks is expanding its lunch offerings and bringing beer and wine to more stores, aiming to draw more customers after the morning hours. The company has a goal of doubling food revenue to more than $4 billion in the next five years. Starbucks also is adding breakfast sandwiches and bakery items in a bid to step up competition with fast-food restaurants.

“The easy way to increase the throughput is to get people to purchase outside the morning rush,” said Asit Sharma, an analyst at the Motley Fool in Raleigh, North Carolina. “These numbers indicate they’re starting to have success with that”

First-quarter revenue gained 13 percent to $4.8 billion, matching analysts’ estimates.

The shares rose 3.3 percent to $85.51 at 4:27 p.m. in late trading in New York. They increased 4.7 percent in 2014, the sixth straight year of gains.

Sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 5 percent in the Americas, which includes the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Analysts had estimated a 4.8 percent gain, on average, according to Consensus Metrix, a firm in Wayne, New Jersey.

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