6 Ways Starbucks Crushed It in Fiscal 2018

Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX)  just wrapped up an important fiscal year with reaccelerated revenue and earnings-per-share growth. The solid performance during this period means the stock has risen about 18% over the past 12 months — an impressive gain considering the S&P 500 is up just 2% during this same timeframe.

As investors look back at the company’s strong run, here are six metrics that capture the coffee giant’s momentum.

A barista holding Starbucks' 2017 Holiday cup

Image source: Starbucks.

1. Comparable-store sales increased 2%

Starbucks’ global comparable-store sales increased 2% in fiscal 2018. This was driven primarily by a 3% increase in average ticket prices. Importantly, Starbucks finished off the year with comparable-store sales growth above this average — at 3%.

2. Revenue rose 10%

Consolidated revenue for the year rose 10%. This was a significant acceleration over Starbucks’ 5% revenue growth in fiscal 2017 (7% when excluding an extra week in fiscal 2016). The strong year was capped off by 11% year-over-year revenue growth in Q4 — a period that was helped by impressive 4% comparable-store sales growth in the U.S.

3. Non-GAAP earnings per share jumped 17%

Starbucks’ non-GAAP EPS jumped 17% year over year to $2.42. This growth rate was well above the 11% growth the coffee giant saw in its non-GAAP EPS in fiscal 2017.

4. Active loyalty program members hit 15.3 million

Starbucks’ active loyalty program members increased 15% year over year to 15.3 million. Highlighting how well the company is executing on its efforts to ramp up its digital business, this is the fastest year-over-year growth Starbucks has seen in active members in the last seven quarters — and it’s well ahead of the 11% growth Starbucks saw in active members last year.

5. Starbucks has 10 million digitally registered customers

Catalyzing Starbucks’ digital relationships in fiscal 2018 was the company’s decision to build such relationships with customers who aren’t loyalty program members. Starbucks calls these relationships “digitally registered customers.”

As part of one of Starbucks’ new efforts to build relationships with its customers, all of these digitally registered customers were acquired during fiscal 2018. In fact, all 10 million of these digital relationships were formed during the last two quarters of the fiscal year.

These customers played a key role in helping Starbucks’ growth in loyalty program members accelerate as the company is able to convert many of them to the program.

6. Starbucks returned $8.9 billion to shareholders

Through dividends and share repurchases, Starbucks returned a record $8.9 billion to shareholders in fiscal 2018. This is up from $2.5 billion returned to shareholders in fiscal 2017. This huge uptick in Starbucks’ capital return rate was driven by a 20% dividend increase that came one quarter ahead of schedule, as well as a more aggressive share-repurchase plan.

Looking ahead, Starbucks expects fiscal 2019 revenue to rise 5% to 7% compared to fiscal 2018. Importantly, management also anticipates strong year-over-year comparable-store sales growth of about 3% to 4% — an acceleration over its 2% growth in fiscal 2018.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Starbucks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Referenced Symbols: SBUX

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