From a business standpoint, Starbucks faces continued operating margin degradation and a maturing domestic store base. For some time I have felt that these factors would contribute to disappointing EPS results - and that has proven to be the case.
The loss of Schultz's management expertise (he already once turned the company around) is a negative for the company (and represents a further risk to the company's ability to execute through its challenges and headwinds) and I remain short Starbucks.
I initially placed Starbucks on my Best Ideas List (short) in January, 2016 at $60.60. (Starbucks closed at $57.07 yesterday).
As to Howard Schultz, a potential political candidate - he has been a catalyst for social change in his role at Starbucks and away from the company.
Schultz's family foundation has been committed to the support of two successful programs: Onward Youth (aimed at promoting employment for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school and not working) and Onward Veterans (which support post 9/11 military to successfully transition into civilian life).
For over two years I have suggested that Schultz would be among the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
I still believe this to be the case.
And if this sounds like a personal endorsement... it is.
Read more of Doug Kass on Real Money Pro here.