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Bull of the Day: Starbucks (SBUX)

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Headquartered in Seattle, Starbucks Corp. (SBUX - Free Report) is the largest coffee chain and brand in the world, with a global footprint that is continually expanding. Along with Italian-style espresso beverages, Starbucks offers customers a wide variety of pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and lunch options. In addition to sales through its company-operated retail stores, the company sells whole bean coffees through a specialty sales group and supermarkets.

A Strong Start To 2019

Back in January, Starbucks reported results for its fiscal 2019 first quarter, and overall, the numbers were better-than-expected and told analysts that momentum is heating up once again.

Adjusted earnings of 75 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus of 65 cents per share and grew 15.4% year-over-year. Total revenues hit $6.6 billion, also beating our consensus estimate and increasing 9% from the year-ago period.

Global comparable store sales rose 4% in Q1, which extended the metric’s accelerating growth streak over the past few quarters. U.S. comps growth increased 4% year-over-year, which helped boost global comps.

In Starbucks’ earnings release, CEO Kevin Johnson said "We are particularly pleased with the sequential improvement in quarterly comparable store transactions in the U.S…underpinned by our digital initiatives and improved execution of our in-store experience.”

Management continues to expect solid comps growth of 3% to 4% for fiscal 2019.

Another thing to note is that the company’s active Starbucks Rewards members grew 14% year-over-year, which came almost in line with the 15% year-over-year active rewards members growth seen in Q4 2018.

SBUX is On the Rise

Year-to-date, shares of Starbucks are up almost 12.4%. And in the past year, the stock has gained 27%.

Estimates have been rising lately too, pushing the stocks towards a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

For the current fiscal year, the coffee giant’s earnings are expected to grow over 12% year-over-year. 14 analysts have revised their estimates upwards in the past 60 days, and the Zacks Consensus Estimate has moved eight cents higher from $2.64 to $2.72 during the same time frame.

2020 looks pretty strong too, and earnings are expected to grow around 11.5%; next year’s consensus estimate sits at $3.03 per share, with seven upward revisions in the last 60 days.

Bottom Line

Johnson also said in the earnings release that Starbucks is “on track to deliver on [its] full-year commitments,” which is key; the company has been known in the past to reduce its outlook for important metrics.

Along with a bullish view on China going forward—China’s store count jumped 18% year-over-year in Q1—Starbucks is expected to open 2,100 new stores globally during fiscal 2019.

If you’re an investor looking for a food or beverage stock to add to your portfolio, make sure to keep SBUX on your shortlist.

 

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