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Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) is one of the year's highfliers, with shares up nearly 50% on the year and the stock trading around a 52-week high. As if that weren't enough, Starbucks reported record earnings for its fourth quarter and full year after the bell on Wednesday. In fact, company CEO Howard Schultz trumpeted fiscal 2013 as "by far the best year in Starbucks' 42-year history."
Profit climbed 37% during the fourth quarter to a record $0.63 per share, which was ahead of analyst estimates for earnings per share of $0.60 in the period. Revenue increased 13% from the year-ago period to $3.8 billion, in line with expectations. Global same-store sales growth of 7% helped fuel Starbucks' record quarter. In addition, net revenue for fiscal 2013 increased 12% to $14.9 billion.
The impressive results and robust outlook prompted Starbucks' board to boost its quarterly dividend by 24% to $0.26 per share. Looking to the future, new product categories, including food from Starbucks' La Boulange rollout and Evolution Fresh juices, should result in wider profit margins for Starbucks. The company currently operates 19,209 Starbucks locations worldwide, with plans to open an additional 1,400 stores in 2014.