Starbucks said Wednesday its fiscal first-quarter profits rose by less than 2 percent and unveiled plans to open fewer domestic stores and...

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Starbucks said Wednesday its fiscal first-quarter profits rose by less than 2 percent and unveiled plans to open fewer domestic stores and more overseas to revitalize the coffee house chain.

During fiscal 2008, Starbucks plans to open about 425 fewer domestic stores and 75 more overseas than previously planned, for a global total of 2,150 new stores.

The world’s largest coffee retailer said sales at stores open at least 13 months, a key measure of a retailer’s health, grew only 1 percent in the latest quarter, well below its target. Starbucks has been struggling amid a faltering economy, rising costs and growing competition from cheaper rivals.

For the 13 weeks ended Dec. 30, Starbucks posted net earnings of $208.1 million, or 28 cents per share, up from $205.1 million, or 26 cents a share, during the same period a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting a profit of $209.43 million, or 27 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter was $2.77 billion, in line with analysts’ estimate and up from $2.35 billion a year ago.

The company opened 745 new stores worldwide in the latest quarter, boosting its worldwide count to 15,756.

Starbucks shares fell 75 cents, or 3.8 percent, to close at $19.22, then inched up 37 cents in extended trading on Wednesday. The company’s stock is down about 50 percent since late 2006, when it was trading close to $40 a share.