Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) on Thursday delivered better-than-expected second quarter earnings, while narrowly missing revenue forecasts. The Company reported earnings of USD .60 per share, beating out the USD .56 per share expected by analysts. Revenue came in at USD 6.31 Billion, a 5% increase from the year prior, but just shy of the USD 6.32 Billion anticipated.
Starbucks’ President and CEO Kevin Johnson said the Company remains focused on “accelerating growth in our targeted markets of the U.S. and China, expanding the global reach of the Starbucks brand through our Global Coffee Alliance with Nestlé, and increasing shareholder returns.” The Company returned USD 3.2 Billion to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividends in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
The coffee-giant also saw notable growth worldwide. Same-store-sales increased 4% in the Americas as customers spent an average of 4% more per visit. Comparable sales in China grew 3%, however, average sales dropped 1%. Starbucks said it opened 319 new stores in the first three months of the year, with plans to open 2,100 net new locations globally in the second half of 2019.
Changes to the Company’s rewards program last month so far seem to be paying off as well. The loyalty program grew to 16.8 million active members in the United States, up 13% from last year. Starbucks Rewards also reached 8.3 million active Chinese members in the second quarter.
In addition to retaining customers through free-beverage perks, Starbucks plans to focus more on cold drinks like the Cloud Macchiato, largely promoted by Ariana Grande. The Company has received some huge non-sponsored help as well from global beauty influencer James Charles. His latest YouTube video featuring Starbucks’ Pink Drink racked up nearly 10 million views in under three days.