Starbucks reported a 44-percent jump in first-quarter profit Wednesday, saying strong holiday sales and operational improvements helped offset skyrocketing coffee costs. For the first quarter ended Jan. 2, Starbucks reported net income $346.6 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with $241.5 million, or 32 cents per share, for the first quarter a year ago. Analysts had projected earnings of 39 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial. Revenue for the 17,009-unit chain grew by 8 ...

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