By Lisa Baertlein | LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) on Thursday trimmed its full-year income forecast and reported a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly gross sales at established eating places within the Americas, sending its shares down 3.eight p.c in after-hours commerce.

The world’s largest espresso vendor stated visits to U.S. shops area had been down in an indication the corporate could also be succumbing to the cussed stoop bedeviling the broader restaurant trade.

Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson advised Reuters the disappointing Americas outcomes had been primarily as a result of operational challenges attributable to congestion at drink pickup websites after the variety of cafes reaping greater than 20 p.c of transactions from cell orders doubled to 1,200 through the fiscal first quarter, which ended Jan. 1.

Chief Executive Howard Schultz stated on a convention name:

“This is a great problem to have and a problem that we know how to solve. This is not rocket science.”

Sales at Americas area cafes open not less than 13 months had been up 3.0 p.c for the primary quarter, however missed analysts’ common forecast of a 3.9 p.c rise, in response to analysis agency Consensus Metrix.

U.S. same-store gross sales had been additionally up 3.0 p.c whereas the precise variety of transactions was down. Starbucks just lately modified its loyalty program to deal with spent slightly than transactions. Adjusting for that change, Starbucks stated traffic was flat.

The Seattle firm forecast 2017 income development of eight.0 to 10 p.c, down from prior name for a double-digit rise.

Johnson, the chief working officer, additionally pinned some blame on macroeconomic weak point that’s inflicting ache all through the restaurant trade.

Revenue rose to $5.7 billion from $5.4 billion a 12 months earlier as web revenue attributable to Starbucks rose to $751.eight million from $687.6 million.

The income was lower than the $5.eight billion common goal of analysts compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Adjusted earnings per share of 52 cents met expectations.

“Despite (Starbucks’) relative consistency and outperformance vs. peers, it isn’t completely immune to a meaningful deterioration in retail traffic,” Stephens analyst Will Slabaugh stated in a shopper observe.

The Americas area contributed 62 p.c of Starbucks’ complete web income within the newest fiscal 12 months.

Much of that got here from the United States, the place Starbucks and different chains have been battling direct rivals in addition to unusually low grocery costs.

Starbucks shares fell $2.20 to $56.26 in prolonged commerce.

(This story corrects to take away extraneous phrase in 1st paragraph.)

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Peter Henderson in San Francisco; enhancing by Matthew Lewis, Clive McKeef)

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