Starbucks Corporation Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (SBUX)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Starbucks Corporation (Nasdaq: SBUX) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SBUX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.11 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.23, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, STARBUCKS CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • STARBUCKS CORP has improved earnings per share by 14.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, STARBUCKS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.79 versus $1.62 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.15 versus $1.79).
  • 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 13.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $382.10 million to $432.20 million.

Starbucks Corporation operates as a roaster, marketer, and retailer of specialty coffee worldwide. As of September 30, 2012, the company operated 9,405 company-operated stores and 8,661 licensed stores. Starbucks has a market cap of $40.72 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Starbucks Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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