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UPDATE 1-Starbucks China rival Luckin Coffee forecasts upbeat fourth-quarter revenue

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Nov 13 (Reuters) - China's Luckin Coffee Inc reported a smaller-than-expected loss and forecast fourth-quarter revenue above estimates on Wednesday, as the Starbucks Corp rival rapidly opened stores and pulled in new customers.

The company's shares, which have gained about 12% from the May initial public offering price, rose nearly 8% to $20.45 in premarket trading.

Luckin has been expanding at a breakneck speed as part of its stated goal of overtaking Starbucks by the end of the year.

The company opened about 700 stores in the third quarter, taking its total in China to 3,680, compared with 4,125 for Starbucks.

Net loss attributable to the company's shareholders widened to 531.86 million yuan ($76.04 million) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from 484.93 million yuan a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, the company reported a loss of 32 cents per share, smaller than the 38 cents analysts had expected.

Total net revenue rose over six-fold to 1.54 billion yuan.

Luckin forecast fourth-quarter net revenue of 2.1 billion yuan ($300.25 million) to 2.2 billion yuan ($314.55 million), compared to analysts' estimate of $289.08 million, according to three analysts polled by Refinitiv.

($1 = 6.9941 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)