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Anti-bias training hit Starbucks' bottom line in Q3

Closing more than 8,000 U.S. stores for anti-bias training in May shaved 2 cents off Starbucks Corp.'s third-quarter adjusted EPS, CEO Kevin Johnson said during a July 26 conference call.

The global coffee chain expects the closures will trim 3 cents off full-year adjusted EPS, CFO Scott Maw said during the same call, which followed the company's third-quarter earnings report. Starbucks on July 26 narrowed its guidance for full-year adjusted EPS and Maw said he expects impact from the closures to carry over into the company's fourth-quarter earnings.

The company announced the closures and training in April in response to the controversial arrests of two black men in one of the chain's Philadelphia cafes during the same month.

The closures also caused a drop of just under a half-point drop U.S. comparable same-store sales, which grew by 1% overall during the quarter, Maw said.

Starbucks took a further hit of 130 basis points to U.S. operating margins from the training and investments from tax reform, Maw said. U.S operating margins for the third quarter dropped overall by 290 basis points year over year to 21.5% of sales.

The company also delayed its spring and summer beverage marketing campaign by two weeks to deal with the public backlash from the arrests, Johnson said.