Cheaper coffee brews potential for Starbucks
Analysts say lower bean prices could add to profits in the next 2 years.
Coffee prices have dropped more than 20% over six months. There are a couple of reasons. Coffee prices are naturally coming down from a pretty strong hike in recent years.
But more important is the crop expected out of Brazil, which will see its harvest in about three months. The Brazilian crop will help make up for a poor showing out of Columbia, where disappointing harvests are almost a chronic problem, Reuters reports.
Coffee investors are all over this and have pushed shares of Starbucks and Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET) to fresh 52-week highs. Caribou Coffee (CBOU) has also soared.
Analysts at Jefferies were giving the stocks more of a boost Friday, reiterating a "buy" rating on all three. Analyst Andy Barish also upped the price targets on Starbucks to $62 and on Caribou to $24. He left Peet's alone at $88.
Barish thinks big coffee players are going to lock in as much 2013 supply as they can at current prices. "It is rare to see a category growing around the 8-10% delivered by specialty coffee, and we believe this can persist through 2013," he writes.
Jefferies thinks the lower coffee prices will reflect nicely in Starbucks' earnings. For the 2012 fiscal year, the analysts say, profit should go up by a penny per share to $1.85. Things look better in 2013, with per-share profit expected to rise by 10 cents to $2.35.
There is a difference between less expensive coffee and a lower grade coffee.
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The grocery giant expanded its Simple Truth line nationwide 2 years ago and has seen consistent growth.
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