Seattle-based Starbucks (SBUX) emerged as a coffeehouse giant in the 1990s with a meteoric rise, evolving from a local concept into a global brand. Amid the current stock market rally, is Starbucks stock a buy?
Starbucks Earnings Fall On Coronavirus
In the most recent quarter — reported on Oct. 29 — Starbucks reported results that beat expectations, helped by a “faster-than-expected recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic. But same-store sales in China came up short, and the coffee chain forecast mixed results for the year ahead.
Starbucks earned 51 cents per share during the fourth quarter, better than the 33 cents forecast by Zacks. Revenue fell 8% to $6.2 billion. But that also wasn’t as bad as the 10% drop to $6.08 billion expected.
According to the IBD Stock Checkup, Starbucks stock has a weak 37 out of a highest-possible 99 IBD Composite Rating. The Composite Rating is designed to help investors easily measure a stock’s fundamental and technical characteristics.
Fundamentally, the company boasts a deteriorating track record of earnings growth, resulting in a 31 (out of a best-possible 99) EPS Rating. The EPS Rating measures a company’s current quarterly earnings and annual earnings growth.
Starbucks Stock News
On March 15, amid the spreading coronavirus outbreak, Starbucks moved into a “to-go” model for its stores in the U.S. and Canada for at least two weeks. Starbucks also said some of its stores in “high-social gathering” areas will be shuttered to help prevent the spread of the virus. The moves came in the wake of the U.S. government’s call for more social distancing.
On April 16, Starbucks announced plans to reopen stores that closed during the coronavirus outbreak. In a letter to employees, CEO Kevin Johnson said, “As we have experienced in China, we are now transitioning to a new phase that can best be described as ‘monitor and adapt.”
In late April, the company said it would start reopening U.S. stores as soon as early May, with plans to have around 90% of company-run locations open by early June with modified hours and more safety measures, but management said “routines may look a little bit different” even for its most loyal customers.
On May 4, the the coffee giant said it plans to reopen more than 85% of its U.S. corporate stores by end of this week. Dine-in services will remain closed for the time being.
In a letter to employees on May 21, CEO Kevin Johnson said the company has reclaimed about 60% to 65% of its U.S. same-store sales over the last week, vs. the same period a year ago.
Starbucks CFO Patrick Grismer, during a conference in September, said the coffee giant was on track to reach positive same-store sales in the U.S. by the end of its fiscal second quarter.
Is Starbucks Stock A Buy In The Current Stock Market?
During the coronavirus stock market crash, Starbucks shares fell nearly 50% off their 52-week high. After a sharp rally, the stock is just off all-time highs. Starbucks is sharply extended past a cup with handle’s 89.53 buy point.
Starbucks stock rallied 0.35% Tuesday and is approaching a new high.
So, Starbucks is not a buy right now, as it trades sharply extended past a correct buy point. Meanwhile, a lack of strong fundamentals could be a deterrent to growth investors.
For more leading stocks and stocks approaching buy points, check out these IBD Stock Lists, like the Stocks Near A Buy Zone. To see the current stock market trend, check out IBD’s signature daily analysis, The Big Picture.
Follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on stock market analysis and insight.
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