Starbucks Blames Housing for Lower Second Quarter Forecast

Seattle–Starbucks forecast lower fiscal second quarter earnings on Wednesday and said the weak housing market has reduced demand for its product, the Seattle Times said.Seattle-based Starbucks said earnings will probably decline to 15 cents a share, a drop from 19 cents last year.Full-year earnings per share were also forecast to be “somewhat lower” than 2007’s 87 cents a share.The coffee retailer’s revenue is predicted to increase 12 percent for the quarter. Its second quarter ended March 30; actual results are set for an April 30 release.CEO Howard Schultz said that the economy is having “a substantial impact on our performance,” but that the company is about to begin new initiatives which will provide benefits that are “not yet reflected in our financial results.”