Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:32 a.m. EDT on Real Money on July 26. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- How can it all come together so spectacularly in one quarter?
That's what I found myself asking when I listened to the Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) quarter. Same-store sales were up 8% globally, and the Americas delivered astounding comps of 9%. Who can be that good? This isn't some 800-store chain. This is an established chain with 19,000 locations that is actually accelerating its revenue and increasing its gross margin.
That's phenomenal. It is a monument to execution. It's a tribute to the amazing work that CEO Howard Schultz and his team have delivered -- work that has gone beyond our wildest imaginations. The changes at Starbucks were certainly not expected to generate continual 9% growth. In fact, they called that highly unrealistic.Consider this: 1. Starbucks has now reported its 14th consecutive quarter of comps growing in excess of 5%; 2. operating margin was up 150 basis points; 3. operating income was up 25%; 4. revenue increased 13%; and 5. the company saw an actual increase in Europe, the first in six quarters. All of this is astounding, but here's what's really incredible. The changes at this company are setting the stage for a much bigger Starbucks with a much more ambitious agenda, established in three ways -- through three acquisitions that have already been distinguished as brilliant. First, there's the food coming from the national roll-out of Boulange, the bread-and-pastry initiative that is now in 1,000 stores and will be in 2,500 at year-end Second, there's the noncoffee-beverage business, as spearheaded by the Evolution acquisition. Third, the new Teavana that will produce 1,000 tea stores, triple the current amount, as Starbucks taps into the $40 billion tea market. Don't, by the way, think for a moment that Starbucks will be contained by the Starbucks stores. Expect to see the Evolution drinks at your supermarket, at least at Whole Foods (WFM). Plus, in a little noticed tie-in announced Tuesday, Starbucks is branding a special Danone Greek yogurt that will sell at Starbucks and at the supermarket.
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