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Alexander Grano
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I am a intermediate investor with 3 years of trading experience with both Stocks and Mutual Funds. I primarily focus on long term investments that have strong potential to grow overtime.
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  • Starbucks: Transformer Of The Coffee World

    Starbucks Corporation, the name that comes to everyones mind every time one thinks of coffee. The Company buys and roasts high-quality coffees, along with handcrafted coffee, tea and other beverages in addition to a wide array of fresh food items, through company-operated stores.

    With its roots in Pike Place Market, where the company opened its first retail location back in 1971, the company has expanded to now having over 23,000 stores in 68 different countries around the globe. The first Starbucks store outside that U.S. was opened in Tokyo, Japan back in 1996. To date the company now has over 1,000 in the country. Currently, the company operates more than 1,700 stores in China, over 870 outlets in 15 Latin American marketsand around 800 stores in the U.K. through international partners.

    The Company sells its goods and services under several different vanities including Teavana, Tazo, Seattle's Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Ethos. The Company has four operating segments: Americas, which is inclusive of the US, Canada, and Latin America; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); China/Asia Pacific (CAP) and Channel Development. The Company sells Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee roasted whole bean and ground coffees, Tazo teas, Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, and other coffee and tea related products to institutional foodservice companies that service business and industry, education, healthcare, office coffee distributors, hotels, restaurants, airlines and other retailers.

    From espresso and specialty roast and ground coffee to premium, single serve varieties, the company enjoys a prominent post across all segments of the coffee industry. In addition to its coffee, the company also offers tasty food pairings such as pastries, snacks and salads in addition to a smattering of teas and other beverages in its stores. The company also offers delicous hot sandwiches ideal for those on the go, in addition to wine and beer in select "evening stores" which it recently launched.

    Additionally, the company sells roasted whole bean and ground coffee varieties, a variety of premium Tazo teas, ready to enjoy beverages, as well as K-Cup Packs in grocery stores and specialty retailers.

    Importantly, the company enjoys a leading position in digital, card, loyalty and mobile capabilities. Its new digital technologies, like Mobile Order & Pay, are showing positive early results.

    The Mobile Order & Pay service was launched last year and is now available at all company-operated outlets in the U.S. - more than 7,400 locations - as well as in 150 stores in London, U.K. This initiative allows customers to order before arriving at a Starbucks café and pick up the items at their selected Starbucks store, thus saving time.

    The company also started food and beverage delivery service through its employees at New York's Empire State building in October. The company also expects to introduce food and beverage delivery in collaboration with on-demand delivery service, Postmates, in Seattle and other office buildings in New York before the year ends.

    In order to expand its loyalty program, Starbucks formed strategic partnerships with companies like Lyft, Spotify and The New York Times. Per the deals, loyalty program members can earn stars for purchases made through these third parties, thereby generating an additional revenue stream for the coffee company.

    Starbucks' shares have had a good run this calendar year, gaining 48% year-to-date. With a market cap of almost $89 billion, the company is increasing its global market share by judiciously opening stores in new and existing markets, remodeling existing stores, deploying technology, controlling costs and investing in aggressive product innovation and brand building.

    Sales growth was exceptional over the past two quarters driven by solid global traffic trends while profits remained strong, despite a significant increase in investments.

    In my opinion, digital efforts like Mobile Order & Pay and delivery services, new third-party loyalty partnerships, food and beverage innovation, Starbucks Reserve premium coffees and Teavana tea should fuel stronger sales numbers and a continued uptrend in the fiscal 2016 year


    Improved top-line performance supported by a range of sales drivers and various cost saving initiatives will aid earnings, going ahead.

    Starbucks has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

    Tags: SBUX
    Oct 20 10:26 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Pepsico: An In-Depth Analysis Of A Multi-Faceted Company

    Pepsico is an American based multinational food and beverage corporation headquartered in , New York. It is involved in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsicola Company and FritoLay, Inc and became a publicly traded company on May 1, 1990. The company has since expanded from its namesake product Pepsi to a broader array of food and beverage brands, the largest of which include an acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and a merger with Quaker Oats in 2001-which added the Gatorade brand to its portfolio.

    As of January 2012, 22 of PepsiCo's product lines generated retail sales exceeding $1 billion each and the company's products were distributed across more than 200 countries, resulting in annual net revenues of $43.3 billion. Based on net revenue, PepsiCo is the second largest food & beverage company in the world. Within North America, PepsiCo is ranked (based upon net revenue ) as the largest food and beverage business. Indra Nooyi has served as the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo since 2006, and as of 2011 the company employed approximately 297,000 people worldwide. The company's beverage distribution and bottling is conducted by PepsiCo as well as by licensed bottlers in certain regions.

    Since its IPO on March 1, 1990, when it went public for $9.63 per share, the stock price has increased to $79.24 as of Friday March 22, 2013. Its all-time of $79.79 was reached on January 10, 2008. As 0f March 22, 2013 the stock is $0.63 away from its all time high and is up significantly from its IPO price. Given the evident strength in the stock I would advise holding on to any existing shares and, should there be any pullbacks, buy more shares.

    Historically, Pepsico stock has not been extraordinarily volatile. Below is a Volatility Analysis Chart. This chart illustrates Pepsi's historical best and worst returns for periods of 3,6, and 9 months as well as volatility, and average return for those periods.





    Volatility and Returns for PEPSICO INC

    March 22, 2013





    Volatility Analysis



    3 Month Best Return


    6 Month Best Return


    9 Month Best Return




    3 Month Worst Return


    6 Month Worst Return


    9 Month Worst Return




    3 Month Volatility


    6 Month Volatility


    9 Month Volatility




    3 Month Average Return


    6 Month Average Return


    9 Month Average Return




    As is evident in the chart, Pepsico stock is relatively stable and has a low beta of .47. Also attractive is its dividend yield of $2.15 per share (2.73%) which makes it fairly attractive to investors looking for a stock which has a healthy dividend.


    Disclosure: I am long PEP. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

    Tags: long-ideas
    Mar 25 10:46 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Consumers Are In Love With Apple, Investors Should Be Too

    For all of the pundits, investors, and analysts proclaiming Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) are over, that the company has lost its innovative edge, and that it has "ceded its crown to Samsung (OTC:SSNLF)," here is a new fact to incorporate into that narrative. This piece of data just might produce a different story.

    According to J.D. Power and Associates, which released its rankings of the most popular smartphone vendors Thursday, Apple's satisfaction ratings topped the list for the ninth-consecutive time. Its score of 855 on the 1,000-point scale even edged higher than its score of 849 in the firm's previous consumer satisfaction survey in September of last year.

    Contrary to what recent reports would suggest, Samsung did not fall closely behind Apple in the rankings. In second place came Nokia (NYSE:NOK), scoring a 795. The South-Korean smartphone manufacturer took the third position with 793, while Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola and HTC (OTC:HTCKF) were next with scores of 792 and 790, respectively. Pulling up the rear, was BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), whose score of 732 fell far below the industry average of 796…

    The industry average score of 796 jumped by 22 points from 2012, and according the press release issued by the research firm, this improvement is "likely due to a growing array of new features and services being offered that are providing a seamless product experience between the operating system functions and third-party apps.

    Among traditional mobile phones, LG (OTC:LGEAF) was the leading vendor with a score of 719, followed by Nokia's 714.

    J.D. Power and Associates based its scoring on customer experience. For smartphones, customers said that the device's performance was the most important metric for determining satisfaction, followed by its design and features. How easy the device was to operate was also a key factor in their evaluations. Performance accounted for 33 percent of the score, physical design was 23 percent, features were 22 percent, and ease of operation was 22 percent.

    Further data revealed in the research firm's survey showed just why ease of operation and design features were such important metrics; 17 percent of all smartphone customers have experienced a software or hardware malfunction, and all surveyed customers spend an average of 115 minutes per week using social-networking apps on their devices.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Business relationship disclosure: This article was not written by me

    Tags: LGEAF, SSNLF
    Mar 21 2:49 PM | Link | Comment!
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