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Starbucks earnings beat Street estimates; Sales growth drops

Starbucks reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street analysts' estimates on Thursday, but same-store sales growth dipped.

The company said global comparable-store sales grew 5 percent, compared to 6 percent a year ago.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares gained 1 percent in extended-hours trading. (Click here to track the company's shares following the bell.)

Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Seattle-based coffee company posted fiscal first-quarter earnings on a fully reported basis of 71 cents per share, up from 57 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue came in at $4.24 billion, up from $3.80 billion a year ago.

Troy Alstead, the company's chief financial officer, said in a phone interview that the slower growth for the last three months of the year was the result of the growing number of people who are choosing to shop online from the convenience of their homes, instead of heading out to stores.

"The impact to us is that there are fewer people out and about in the weeks leading up to Christmas," Alstead said.

(Read more: Cramer: Why coffee remains key to the US economy)

But he downplayed the impact that trend would have on sales growth going forward, saying that the advantage of Starbucks is that its offerings can't be replicated online and that its loyalty card business is growing.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings on a fully reported basis of 69 cents a share on $4.29 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Looking ahead, Starbucks said it expects earnings for the fiscal second-quarter to come in between 54 cents and 55 cents per share. Analysts were looking for 56 cents per share.

—By CNBC.com with The Associated Press

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