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Starbucks 1st-qtr profit flat, but traffic climbs

NEW YORK (AP) -- Starbucks Corp. says more customers went to its cafes in its latest quarter, even in the challenging economy.

The Seattle-based company says global revenue at cafes open at least a year rose 6 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter, driven by higher customer traffic. The measure is a key gauge because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.

For the July-September period, Starbucks earned $359 million, or 46 cents per share, from $358.5 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago. The year-ago results benefited from a gain related to a real estate sale. Revenue rose 11 percent to $3.36 billion.

Analysts expected profit of 45 cents per share on revenue of $3.39 billion.

Shares are up 6.5 percent to $49.66 in after-market trading.