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3 Biggest Takeaways from Starbucks' Fourth Quarter Earnings Report

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After sending Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) shares up 53% this year, Wall Street's expectations for the coffee giant are high.

On Thursday, Starbucks gave investors an impressive set of numbers to digest, reporting fourth quarter earnings of 43 cents a share, an increase of 16% year over year, and right in line with forecasts. Global same store sales rose 8%, trumping forecasts for 6.9% growth, led by a 9% increase in the U.S. The company's chairman and CEO Howard Schultz called the global same store sales growth "stunning."

The company did disappoint investors slightly with its outlook, though. For the holiday quarter, Starbucks said it expects earnings of 44 cents to 45 cents a share, while analysts were anticipating 47 cents a share. Starbucks guided to fiscal year 2016 earnings of $1.87 to $1.89 a share, relatively in line with estimates for $1.88 a share.

Shares fell in after-hours trading on Thursday, but were trading up around 1% in early trading on Friday.

"Starbucks performance in the fourth quarter reflected a continuation of the pattern of accelerating momentum we saw with each successive quarter of fiscal 2015," said Starbucks CFO Scott Maw.

Here are the three main takeaways from Starbucks' most recent quarter.

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Starbucks U.S. sales buck what many rivals are seeing.

In the U.S., Starbucks' 8% same-store sales increase matched a similar gain achieved in the third...


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