Prices for Arabica coffee increased over concerns about dry weather in Brazil which could cut production numbers. Brazil's National Coffee Council recently lowered its forecast for the season's harvest to between 40.1 million bags and 43.3 million bags from the previous estimate of 44 million bags.
Starbucks may not pass that price increase to customers this year. In recent interviews CEO Howard Shultz said the company would hold off on any price increases.
Some Starbucks locations reportedly lowered prices last week to combat McDonald's (MCD) free coffee promotion.
TheStreet Ratings team rates STARBUCKS CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate STARBUCKS CORP (SBUX) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry average. The net income increased by 25.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $432.20 million to $540.70 million.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.42, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.78 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.67% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
- STARBUCKS CORP has improved earnings per share by 24.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, STARBUCKS CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.01 versus $1.79 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.67 versus -$0.01).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: SBUX Ratings Report