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Starbucks Results Top Estimates, Raises Outlook

Starbucksreported earnings and sales well ahead of Wall Street expectations Thursday, sending shares of the company higher in after-hours trade.

The coffeehouse chain reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, excluding one-time items. Starbucks earned 24 cents a share during the same period a year ago.

Sales for the most recent quarter rose to $2.84 billion, up from $2.42 billion last year.

The company was seen earning 32 cents a share on revenue of $2.77 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The chain raised its earnings target for the current 2011 fiscal year to a range of $1.41 to $1.47 per share from its prior range of $1.36 to $1.41.

Shares of Starbucks rose more than 2 percent in extended trading Thursday. Get after-hour quotes for Starbucks here.

The stock closed at $29.75 in the regular New York Stock Exchange session. Volume exceeded 12.5 million shares before the closing bell.

"We'll open 500 stores next year—most of that will be international and the big prize for us will be China with over 700 stores in greater china where we have double-digit comp. store sales," said Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks, in a live interview on CNBC. "We're profitable in China and the runway for growth for us in Asia and China is so significant that I can't put a top number on it."

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