Jun. 11, 2014, 1:57 AM
- The European Commission is preparing an investigation into the corporate tax codes in Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The probe is examining the low tax rates global companies pay in the three countries, and will make known if their tax deals are allowed under EU law, or amount to illegal state aid.
- If the investigation reveals that multinational corporations received the state aid, the commission could obligate them to pay it back, even though such requirements are uncommon.
- The probe comes after yesterdays news that Apple used Irish tax laws to allow it to pay just a 3.7% tax rate on non-U.S. income during its last fiscal year. Other companies that will be investigated include Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Starbucks (SBUX).
Jun. 9, 2014, 1:46 PM
- Data from NPD Group indicates the average American spends 12 minutes a day on breakfast.
- The highly-contested daypart pits major cereal sellers such as Kellogg (K), Post Holding (POST), and General Mills (GIS) against fast-food chains like McDonald's (MCD), Starbucks (SBUX), Taco Bell (YUM), and Dunkin' Brands (DNKN).
- Convenience-store chains are also a major factor as C-stores such as Circle K (ANCUF), 7-11, Pantry (PTRY), BP Connect (BP), On the Run (XOM), Speedway America (MPC), Kwik Shop (KR), and Qwiktrip continue to innovate and show some positive growth trends.
- What to watch: Analysis from Edward D. Jones suggests consumers tend to stay with their routines. The read is that companies in the breakfast business need to compete for market share within their segment - instead of trying to change consumer behavior. Taco Bell is utilizing that strategy with its marketing message which paints McDonald's as old-fashioned.
Jun. 2, 2014, 11:34 AM
- Improved traffic at restaurants chains in April helped boost the Restaurant Performance Index monitored by the National Restaurant Association by 0.3% to 101.7.
- The Expectations Index, which measures the six-month outlook for operators, improved 0.2% to 102.2 to mark the highest level for the index in two years.
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN
May. 28, 2014, 9:09 AM
- Standpoint Research is out with Strong Sell ratings on Starbucks (SBUX), McDonald's (MCD), and Wal-Mart (WMT) on moral grounds.
- Analyst Ronald Moas has made a lot of noise on the issues of wealth redistribution and the unfair treatment of employees by corporate giants, but his rants have done little to move stock prices.
May. 27, 2014, 11:26 AM
- Starbucks (SBUX +2%) will open the doors to a fast-casual La Boulange restaurant in Los Angeles on June 12.
- The company already runs several La Boulange restaurants in San Francisco with early reviews largely positive.
- The outlet in L.A. will serve standard La Boulange fare until 7:00 p.m. after which time the menu will include croissant burgers, wine, and cocktails.
- The company hasn't been specific about the direction of the La Boulange brand. "You will see us experiment with La Boulange through various brand extensions," teases one Starbucks exec.
May. 27, 2014, 8:13 AM
- India's largest coffee chain with 1,650 outlets (and another 350 on the way), Cafe Coffee Day has begun interviewing investment bankers, reports Bloomberg, and could seek a valuation of about $1B. The offering could help the company extend its market share lead in India over rivals like Starbucks (SBUX) which opened its first store in that country less than two years ago.
- KKR invested in Cafe Coffee's holding company - Amalgamated Bean - in 2010.
May. 23, 2014, 11:05 AM
- Wells Fargo analyst John Baumgartner forecasts a continued drop in milk prices after seeing Class I milk peak earlier in the month.
- The news could be a relief for a number of companies (DF, WWAV, SJM, DF, NSRGY, LWAY, DNKN, MCD, SBUX, GIS, HSY, MJN, ADY) which have faced margin pressure over the escalated cost of wholesale milk products.
- Milk price chart
- Related ETF: MOO
May. 22, 2014, 1:15 PM
- Jamba (JMBA +3.9%) is rapidly accelerating the rollout of its fresh-juice initiative in order to stay ahead of rivals - in particular Evolution Fresh (SBUX).
- The company says 500 locations will have the fresh juice platform in place by June 2 and all stores will be covered by 2015.
- Consumer response has been very positive to Jamba's juicing pilot program, with participating stores showing a 3%-4% lift to their comp. Execs with Jamba are convinced they are catching a wave early.
May. 20, 2014, 10:21 AM
- Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) trades higher amid a tough day in retail.
- There's nothing concrete on the table, but some analysts think the company has been stealing some market share from major retailers in Q1 and Q2 as consumers continue to evolve their shopping habits. Staples (SPLS -10%) and Office Depot (ODP -1.5%) come to mind.
- Starbucks (SBUX -1.3%) CEO Howard Schultz seems to have called the retail slide with his perception that a "seismic shift" toward online and mobile is beyond the tipping point (FBN interview, SBUX conference call).
- Related ETFs: XLP, XLY, VDC, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXG, IYK, IYC, FXD, SCC, FDIS, UCC, RHS, PMR, FSTA, RCD, UGE, PSL, PEZ, PSCC, PSCD, SZK
May. 14, 2014, 11:25 AM
- Coffee prices could be driven higher later this year due to high demand for premium beans and a tight supply as a result of a harsh drought in Brazil.
- The International Coffee Organization forecasts H1 coffee production will be down close to 5%.
- The wildcard: An early outbreak of El Nino could also disrupt crops across South America.
- What to watch: Starbucks (SBUX), Tim Hortons (THI), McDonald's (MCD), and Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) could get pinched if coffee prices push significantly higher. Analysts note not all of the input costs can be passed off to consumers and hedging strategies weaken above a price level of $3/pound.
- Related ETF: JO
May. 14, 2014, 7:55 AM
- SodaStream (SODA) is in focus after a stumble in the U.S. drives home that the company is having some trouble penetrating the region to the same degree as other markets.
- Guidance from SodaStream is for a FY14 revenue to increase by 15% to $647.11M vs. $639.3M consensus.
- The company sees FY14 net income improving by 3% Y/Y to $42M.
- What to watch: Weakness by SodaStream in the U.S. is almost sure to drive out more speculation on a major beverage player buying out the Western Europe juggernaut. Pepsico (PEP) and Starbucks (SBUX) top the list.
- SodaStream earning call webcast 7:30 EST.
- SODA -3.3% premarket
May. 6, 2014, 1:34 PM
- Restaurant chains saw sales increase at a slightly higher rate last year than sales at independent chains and concepts, according to data from GE Capital.
- The 100 largest chains saw sales grow at a rate of 3.5% vs. the industry average of 3.1%.
- Consumers spent more money per restaurant visit in 2013, but industry-wide same-store sales fell off 0.1% with traffic numbers down.
- For the 6th year in a row, sales at quick-service restaurants rose faster than sales at full-service establishments.
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Apr. 30, 2014, 2:55 PM
- Starbucks (SBUX) rolled out Oprah tea products this week at 12K of its branded stores in the U.S. as well as the 300 Teavana stores it has opened. Early channel checks indicating strong interest from consumers.
- Tea is the next frontier for Starbucks and some analysts think the Oprah phenomenon gives the initiative a fighting chance.
- Sales of tea in the U.S. grew from $1.84B in 1990 to $10.41B in 2013, but proponents think the market still has huge upside - especially in the premium segment.
- A possible catch in the plan can be summed up in one word. Caffeine. If consumers find tea a contemplative drink, instead of a daily craving they need, Starbucks could see slower demand for tea drinks and products than forecast.
Apr. 29, 2014, 10:35 AM
- Starbucks (SBUX -0.6%) launches the Teavana Oprah Chai Tea brand today in stores in North America.
- The company says Oprah Winfrey personally developed the multiple Chai tea flavors.
- The big picture: Starbucks spent $620M on a big bet that it could develop tea-only stores in the U.S. and bring in new tea adherents. During the firm's Q1 conference call (transcript) Teavana was a big topic of discussion, although execs were light on details on sales. The launch of the Oprah brand and Teavana stores should give investors more insight in the near future on the demand trends for tea in North America.
Apr. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM
- The restaurant industry is watching with interest a late push by waiters and bartenders in Seattle to drum up support against a proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage law in the state.
- The group fears a minimum wage law hike will significantly lower the level of tips servers receive from customers.
- The big picture: The potential for minimum wage increases - either on a federal level or state by state - has been a hot topic in dissecting restaurant stocks. Some analysts see a significant bottom line pinch as companies have a difficult time passing on the extra costs to consumers in the form of higher prices.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Apr. 28, 2014, 1:03 PM
- Single-serve brewing system sales rose 8% last year to $930M, although some key markets showed signs of saturation.
- Retail sales of single-serve brewing systems were flat in New York City, while they actually fell off in Washington, DC (-2%) and Boston (-3%).
- 19% of pod-based machine sales were online during the period.
- Related stocks: GMCR, SBUX
SBUX vs. ETF Alternatives
Starbucks Corp is the roaster, marketer & retailer of specialty coffee in the world, operating in 65 countries. It sells a variety of coffee & tea products. It sells goods and services under brands under Teavana, Tazo, Seattle's Best Coffee, etc.
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