Starbucks (SBUX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Starbucks’ shares have outperformed the industry in the last six months. Earnings estimates, however, have remained stable for fiscal 2018 in the last 30 days, limiting upside potential for the stock. Starbucks has been experiencing tepid comps growth in the United States for quite some time now amid persistent decline in the country’s restaurant sales. It reported tepid 2% comps growth in fiscal first quarter in the Americas segment against 3% in the year-ago period. Despite economic growth, consumers increased their spending only modestly on dining out, which resulted in low consumption over the last few quarters. That said, Starbucks is strengthening its portfolio with innovations, best-in-class loyalty program and digital offerings to counter tepid sales growth. Although these initiatives might benefit the company in the long run, the consequential increment in spending is likely to create pressure on its earnings in the near term.”

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SBUX has been the topic of several other research reports. Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $66.00 price objective on shares of Starbucks in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Wedbush reissued a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Starbucks in a report on Monday, January 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Telsey Advisory Group reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 target price (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Starbucks in a report on Friday, January 19th. William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Starbucks in a report on Friday, January 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Starbucks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 30th. Thirteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $64.17.

Starbucks stock opened at $58.00 on Friday. Starbucks has a 12 month low of $52.58 and a 12 month high of $64.87. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. The company has a market capitalization of $83,239.63, a P/E ratio of 28.16, a PEG ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 0.64.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The coffee company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.01. Starbucks had a return on equity of 56.35% and a net margin of 19.28%. The business had revenue of $6.07 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.19 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.52 earnings per share. Starbucks’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Starbucks will post 2.49 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Myron E. Ullman III sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.52, for a total value of $1,363,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 39,000 shares in the company, valued at $2,126,280. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Craig Weatherup sold 59,838 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.10, for a total transaction of $3,596,263.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 26,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,592,650. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 247,664 shares of company stock worth $14,243,602. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new position in Starbucks in the fourth quarter worth $107,000. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Starbucks in the fourth quarter worth $113,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in Starbucks in the third quarter worth $111,000. Gradient Investments LLC purchased a new position in Starbucks in the fourth quarter worth $117,000. Finally, Front Row Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Starbucks during the fourth quarter valued at about $136,000. Institutional investors own 73.47% of the company’s stock.

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About Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a roaster, marketer, and retailer of specialty coffee worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Americas; China/Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Channel Development. Its stores offer coffee and tea beverages, roasted whole bean and ground coffees, single-serve and ready-to-drink coffee and tea products, and food and snacks; and various food products, such as pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and lunch items.

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