Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) were brewing up big gains today, finishing 9% higher after after a strong earnings report and a dividend increase.

So what: Same-store sales increased 6%, while overall sales were up 11%. Adjusted EPS improved to $0.46 a share, from $0.37 in the quarter a year ago, and Starbucks also increased its quarterly dividend by 24%, to $0.21. Perhaps, most importantly, the coffee chain raised its fiscal 2013 EPS guidance to $2.06-$2.15. The growth of its Channel Development business, which includes items like K-cup portion packs, was strong at 32%, and its China/Asia-Pacific region again showed impressive results, with a 15% increase in comparable sales. Europe, on the other hand, was weak, with flat comps.

Now what: Starbucks' high valuation is often criticized, but this is a dominant, global brand that keeps finding new avenues for growth. In the next year alone, it is planning to add 1,300 new stores, up from 1,063 new stores in 2012, and a net addition of just 145 in 2011. With growth through international channels, new stores in the U.S., and home-based products and appliances, there are plenty of reasons to believe Starbucks will live up to its valuation.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.