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Starbucks doubles share repurchase plan

Following last week’s release of record fourth-quarter and full-year results, Starbucks Corp.’s board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 10 million shares of common stock.

The authorization is in addition to the 10.1 million shares that remained available at fiscal year end 2010 for repurchase under an existing authorization, the company said.

“This additional authorization to repurchase stock reflects the strength of Starbucks’ balance sheet as well as our strong ongoing operating cash flow to both support the growth in the business and return value to our shareholders through the payment of quarterly dividends and share repurchases,” said Troy Alstead, Starbucks’ chief financial officer.

Seattle-based Starbucks last week reported an 86-percent increase in net income for its fourth quarter ended Oct. 3, saying its earnings per share and consolidated margins were the highest in company history.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported earnings of $278.9 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with $150 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Net revenue for the quarter, including an extra week, was up 17.2 percent to $2.8 billion.

Same-store sales increased 8 percent.

For the quarter, the company announced a cash dividend of 13 cents per share. For the year, Starbucks said it has returned about $460 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

Starbucks operates or licenses 16,858 locations worldwide, including 11,131 in the United States.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect headline. The corrected headline now states “Starbucks doubles share repurchase plan,” as the company will repurchase 10 million shares of stock, doubling its current authorization for 10.1 million shares.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

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