Starbucks plans to accelerate growth
NEW YORK – Starbucks Corp. plans to accelerate growth and brew up a stronger profit in the year ahead, with CEO Howard Schultz noting that customers of all walks of life consider its drinks an “affordable luxury” even in challenging economic times.
The Seattle-based company said Thursday that global revenue at cafes open at least a year rose 6 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, driven by higher customer traffic.
Starbucks lifted its dividend and guidance for the fiscal year ending in September 2013.
In the year ahead, Starbucks said it also plans to open 1,300 net new stores, up from the 1,063 it opened in the just completed year.
Martha Stewart Living downsizing publication
NEW YORK – Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is downsizing its magazines and will cut publishing jobs as it increasingly focuses on online video and other digital content.
The lifestyle, media and merchandising company said Thursday that the move could save it up to $35 million per year. It did not say how many employees are being eliminated.
Martha Stewart will stop publishing its monthly Everyday Food magazine as a stand-alone publication, instead periodically wrapping it into Martha Stewart Living magazine. It will make Everyday Food content available on the Internet.
Mortgage rates decline
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages slipped this week and stayed near record lows, a trend that’s helped boost home sales and refinancing.
The average rate on the 30-year mortgage declined to 3.39 percent from 3.41 percent last week. Four weeks ago, the rate touched a record low 3.36 percent. The rate on the 15-year mortgage dipped to 2.70 percent, down from 2.72 percent last week.