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6 Metrics Highlight Starbucks' Strong First-Quarter Results

By Daniel Sparks - Updated Apr 22, 2019 at 9:49PM

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The coffee giant's growth is reaccelerating.

Check out the latest Starbucks earnings call transcript.

Shares of Starbucks ( SBUX -0.16% ) were rising a few percentage points on Friday morning, following the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings release. It reported revenue and adjusted earnings per share of $6.63 billion and $0.68, respectively. These results were ahead of consensus analyst estimates for revenue and adjusted EPS of $6.49 billion and $0.65, respectively.

The strong quarter extends the coffee giant's momentum. Revenue growth and comparable-store sales growth have reaccelerated in recent quarters.

Here's a look at six key metrics from the just-reported period:

A woman using Starbucks' mobile loyalty program

Image source: Starbucks.

1. Revenue growth

Starbucks' revenue for its first quarter of fiscal 2019 rose 9% year over year. This growth is down from its 11% year-over-year revenue growth in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. However, when both quarters are adjusted to exclude nonrecurring items and foreign exchange, revenue in both periods increased 9% year over year. 

It's good to see Starbucks maintain its adjusted revenue growth rate from Q4, as that quarter's revenue growth represented a meaningful acceleration from the 7% year-over-year adjusted revenue growth in its third quarter of fiscal 2018.

2. Global comparable-store sales growth

Starbucks' global comps rose 4% in the first quarter, extending the metric's streak of accelerating growth -- global comps increased 1% in Q3 of 2018 and 3% in Q4 of 2018.

"We are particularly pleased with the sequential improvement in quarterly comparable store transactions in the U.S.," CEO Ke n Q3 of vin Johnson said in the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings release, "underpinned by our digital initiatives and improved execution of our in-store experience

3. U.S. comparable-store sales

Helping drive Starbucks' strong comps growth was a robust performance in the U.S., where comps increased 4% year over year.

4. Active rewards members

The company's active Starbucks Rewards members rose 14% year over year to 16.3 million. This is nearly in line with the company's strong 15% year-over-year growth in active rewards members in Q4.

5. New store openings

Starbucks continues to open new stores at a rapid rate. During its fiscal first quarter, it opened 541 stores, bringing its total store count to 29,865, up 7% from the year-ago quarter.

Highlighting the company's bullish view for China, the store count in that country was up 18% versus the year-ago quarter.

6. Comparable-store sales guidance

"With this solid start to the fiscal year, we are on track to deliver on our full-year commitments," Johnson said in the earnings release. This is important because the company has made a habit of reducing its outlook for key metrics in recent years.

Management was previously guiding for 3% to 4% growth in comps for fiscal 2019, and it continues to expect growth to be in this range. In addition, the company expects to open 2,100 new stores globally during the fiscal year.

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