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Starbucks sales recover faster than expected in US, China

Customers walk past a sign that reads "We're Open!" at a Starbucks Coffee store in south Seattle, on Oct. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP) -- Starbucks saw faster-than-expected recovery in the U.S. and China in its fiscal fourth quarter, giving it confidence as it heads into the holiday season.

    Global same-store sales fell 9% from the prior year, a better showing than the 12% to 17% drop Starbucks anticipated in July. U.S. same-store sales were down 9% in the July-September period, while China's fell 3%. Starbucks has 20,000 stores in the U.S. and China, or 61% of its total.

    Starbucks said 98% of its company-owned stores are now open. Limited or full lobby seating is now available in 63% of U.S. stores and 90% of stores in China.

    Revenue fell 8% from the prior year to $6.2 billion. That was ahead of the $6.1 billion Wall Street forecast, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

    Starbucks reported earnings of 33 cents per share, also beating analysts' forecast of 31 cents.

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