Though Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) grew its U.S. comparable-store sales by an impressive 7% in FQ3 to top peers, and has swatted away challengers before, the company could see some new competition in 2H and into 2015.
Peet's Coffee & Tea plans to open 16 locations in Chicago, several of which sit in close proximity to Starbucks (SBUX) outlets.
Peet's is owned by coffee brand giant Joh. A. Benckiser which directly challenges Starbucks in Europe, but has been more conservative to take on the Seattle giant in the U.S.
The development in the Windy City follows a trend in NYC of more indie coffee shops opening aside Starbucks stores. A coffee app called Cups has also launched over the summer to some positive early results.
What to watch: The westward march of Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) and the potential expansion of Tim Hortons (NYSE:THI) could also be factors in the U.S. coffee market, although many analysts think the power of the SBUX brand and the continued strong demand for coffee will leave multi-channel Starbucks in solid shape.
Luxottica (NYSE:LUX) founder Leonardo Del Vecchio is returning to lead the company as executive chairman following the exit of CEO Andrea Guerra. Sources say Guerra will be replaced by co-chief executives, one of whom will be CFO Enrico Cavatorta.
The most recent dispute between Del Vecchio and Guerra centered around the company's recent deal with Google to design, develop and distribute Google Glass.
As the U.S. military explores ways to cut costs of its V-22 Osprey aircraft, Rolls-Royce (OTC:RRCEF) may lose its place as the program's sole engine provider.
"The V-22 Program is continually investigating ways to reduce the life cycle costs of the aircraft," announced the U.S. Navy by email. "Knowing that more than 90% of the operational use of the V-22 is in the future, coupled with budget pressures, it is prudent to investigate alternatives to existing systems and the engine is no exception."
Each V-22 is currently powered by two Rolls-Royce AE1107C engines.
The U.S. Marine Corp is in the process of acquiring 360 MV-22s, while the Pentagon this fiscal year is acquiring the last CV-22s for the Air Force. The aircraft are also attracting several overseas buyers.
Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) does not want to remain a shareholder of Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) once it finalizes its deal for Vivendi's (OTCPK:VIVHY) Brazilian wireline carrier GVT, says Chairman Cesar Alierta.
Telefonica has already taken steps to sell part of its 14.8% stake in Telecom Italia, which it owns through holding company Telco.
Despite its first bid at T-Mobile USA (NYSE:TMUS) being rebuffed, Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) says it is continuing to pursue a 56.6% stake of the mobile operator, and may now even partner with private equity funds to raise its offer.
Iliad previously offered a bid of $33/share, although T-Mobile USA called the offer "a very inadequate value proposition."
Fending off a challenge from Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Nike (NYSE:NKE) holds on to the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, signing him to a new deal possibly worth $300M over the next ten years, and $350M over the next 20, reports the WSJ.
With Durant's original 7-year, $60M deal set to expire, Under Armour had made an aggressive play for the superstar, but Nike had the right to match any offer and reportedly exceeded Under Armour's bid on Saturday night.
Nike has the dominant share in the $4.5B basketball shoe market, and 2013 sales of Durant's Nike KD shoes of $175M compared to $300M for those under the name of LeBron James. Under Armour's total footwear net revenues were $299M in 2013.
The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.7 in August vs. 51.8 in July and against a preliminary estimate of 50.8. Looking at some individual countries, the PMI slipped to 51.4 from 52 in Germany - the lowest level in about a year; Spain continues growth at 52.8 (down from 53.9); Italy falls into contraction, at 49.8 from 51.9 in August.
"The slowdown in industry is likely to add further fuel to the fire for analysts expecting additional monetary or fiscal stimulus to be implemented," says Markit's Rob Dobson.
A clinical study presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress has concluded that AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) heart drug Brilinta is safe to use in an ambulance when heart attack patients are being rushed to hospital, although its early use does not provide any extra benefit.
Some experts had hoped that a Brilinta-aspirin combo taken before the patient arrives would further boost the chance of restoring healthy blood flow to the heart by minimizing delays.
However, prospects for the drug did improve last month, after the U.S. government closed an investigation into a major clinical trial of Brilinta that was used to win marketing approval.
The euro hit a new one-year low this morning, falling as far as $1.3119 against the dollar, as worries of escalating violence in Ukraine kept the currency on the defensive ahead of the ECB policy meeting later this week.
The ruble also tumbled to a fresh low, as the dollar rose by 0.7% to 37.33 against the ruble in early trade. The plunge follows the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's warning over the weekend that the situation in Ukraine was approaching "a point of no return."