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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), the worlds largest coffee-shop chain, advanced the most in almost two months after posting earnings that topped analysts projections as pumpkin-spice lattes and other seasonal drinks helped boost U.S. sales.

The shares rose 2.2 percent to $74.98 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Nov. 21, after the Seattle-based company yesterday reported first-quarter earnings per share of 71 cents, exceeding the 69-cent average of analysts estimates. Net income jumped 25 percent to $540.7 million.

Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz is advertising seasonal beverages, higher-quality baked goods and opening Teavana stores across the Americas to maintain sales growth. Sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 5 percent in the region, which includes the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Contributing to Americas performance was the success of our holiday beverage offerings, including both pumpkin-spice latte and our holiday beverage trio and strong food sales, Schultz said on a conference call yesterday. The new bakery items, which include croissants and caramel pecan sticky buns, will be in all U.S. locations by the end of fiscal 2014.

Starbucks advanced 46 percent last year, compared with a 23 percent gain for the Standard & Poors 500 Restaurants Index.

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