NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report stock is struggling to rise this afternoon after reporting its 2016 first quarter financial results after yesterday's market close.
One factor that is pressuring shares today is that comparable store sales in China rose by 5% for the quarter, missing analysts' expectations for a 6% increase.
That miss is the "central reason" shares aren't higher this morning, TheStreet's Jim Cramer explained on CNBC's Squawk on the Street this morning.
"It's a shame that we're letting that one percentage point in China just completely take over the story," he said.
In an exclusive interview with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Squawk on the Street this morning, Cramer's first question centered around whether the market is appropriately interpreting Starbucks's performance in China.
Schultz pointed out that Starbucks has had 12 consecutive years of positive comparable store sales and traffic in the country, and investors who are focusing on a 1% miss to analysts' expectations - not Starbucks's - are misinterpreting the information.
"Our business in China has never been stronger," Schultz added.
Cramer had similarly noted earlier in the show that analysts were expecting perfect growth with their 6% projection, and that the company wouldn't plan to open 500 stores a year for the next five years if management anticipated a slowdown.
Same-store sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa also missed analysts' estimates, as they rose just 1% compared to an estimated increase of 4.5%.
Although Cramer doesn't think the company has a European issue, he nonetheless asked Schultz about European growth.
Schultz mentioned that Starbucks was on track for a record-setting quarter in Europe that unfortunately came to a "screeching halt" following the November terrorist attacks in Paris. Going forward, "I see no reason to conclude anything but business will return as usual in coming months and quarters," Schultz noted.
Cramer is optimistic as well, and advises shareholders against selling the stock.
In the above video, he mentions that Starbucks's 9% gain in U.S. same-store sales is "amazing," especially while many brick and mortar stores are struggling for a 1% or 2% gain in U.S. same-store sales.
"Some people would argue this is the strongest quarter in history," Cramer stated.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of A-.
Starbuck's strengths include its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations, and overshadow the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: SBUX
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.