stores@ (Adds CEO comment, details on forecasts)
LOS ANGELES, July 27 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp on Thursday reported quarterly profit that matched analysts' estimates, tempered expectations for the current quarter amid softness in the U.S. retail and restaurant industries, and said it would close all 379 of its Teavana stores.
The company's shares fell 1.2 percent to $58.80 in after-hours trading.
The results landed just hours after Starbucks announced plans to buy the remaining 50 percent stake of its East China business from its joint venture partners for about $1.3 billion, in its biggest ever acquisition.
The world's biggest coffee chain's net income fell to $691.6 million, or 47 cents per share, for the third quarter ended July 2. That was down from $754.1 million, or 51 cents per share, a year ago.
Starbucks had a profit of 55 cents per share, excluding items, which matched analysts' average estimate as complied by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
U.S. restaurants are locked in a bitter fight for market share, battling new competition from non-traditional rivals such as meal kit sellers and convenience stores.
Sales at its mainstay U.S. cafes open at least 13 months rose 5 percent in the latest quarter. Traffic turned slightly positive, reversing three straight quarters of declines that the company attributed in part to changing its loyalty program to focus on dollars spent rather than the number of purchases they make.
Same-store sales from China were up a robust 7 percent.
Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson told Reuters that the cash deal in China, which will give it ownership of about 1,300 stores in Shanghai and Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, is part of the company's "long game" in the country that is its fastest-growing market outside the United States.
Nevertheless, the company signaled caution in North America, which currently accounts for the lion's share of its business.
"The combination of trends in the quarter and ongoing macro pressures impacting the retail and restaurant sectors has us a bit more cautious going into Q4," Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Scott Maw said in a statement.
Starbucks in April lowered its full-year net earnings target to a range of $2.06 to $2.10 per share from $2.09 to $2.11 per share.
"We thought it was the prudent thing to do," Johnson said as the company released its first quarterly report under his charge.
Starbucks bought Teavana for $620 million in 2012. The company said most Teavana stores will be closed by Spring 2018. It will continue selling Teavana branded products in its Starbucks stores. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernard Orr)