Can anything stop Starbucks?
The coffee chain has been making one announcement after another in the last month.
Coffee distributors far and wide are praying for Starbucks (SBUX) to hit some type of snafu. The coffee giant has steamrolled the competition in recent weeks, and analysts have scrambled to raise their ratings on the stock while lowering others.
The bean brewer extraordinaire has impressed its customers, the market and research firms with several positive announcements over the past month or so, not the least of which is an expansion agreement made between Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR).
This week, Williams Capital Group took notice.
Here's what Starbucks has done in just the last month, according to the analysts:
- Opened the first retail location for its Evolution Fresh juice bars
- Entered the energy drink market with the Refreshers line
- Expanded relationship with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to produce coffee pods for Green Mountain's upcoming Vue brewer
- Hosted annual shareholders meeting
- Announced the development of the Verismo single-serve machine
- Made key strategic changes in the United Kingdom and France
- Introduced new dessert items to be sold at retail.
Other analysts are stacking up Starbucks' moves against those of competitors, including McDonald's, Dunkin' Brands Group (DNKN) and Tim Hortons.
Goldman Sachs didn't hold out much hope for the competition, downgrading Tim Hortons and lowering its price target for McDonald's while upgrading Starbucks.
Goldman analysts said they still viewed Tim Hortons positively, while keeping an eye on soft traffic trends in the company's home Canadian market. "There are better restaurant investment opportunities elsewhere," the analysts said. And while Starbucks stands to benefit from the recent pullback in coffee prices, Tim Hortons would not, given its 99% franchised operating structure, the analysts added.
However, Goldman Sachs thinks Dunkin' Brands is holding strong against the competition with its dividend introduction, and more recently, its new deal to add Coca-Cola (KO) products to its stores. Dunkin' Brands will be serving Coca-Cola beverages nationwide come August.
"Coca-Cola's popular beverages such as Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Sprite will be served in more than 9,400 Dunkin' Donuts cafes and Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops across US," Zacks.com reported. "Alongside, Coca-Cola will provide a range of juices, enhanced waters and energy drinks."
Cleansing the consumer palate has become a game of who can introduce new beverages the fastest, made more competitive by the growing selection at coffee chains. One thing is for sure; caffeine lovers won't be facing a shortage any time in the near future.
Starbucks closed Thursday up 2% to $58.18, capping a spectacular 61% rise over the last year. Shares of Green Mountain closed up less than 1% Thursday to $44.09, and have fallen 32% over the last year. McDonald's shares have risen 30% in the last year to close Thursday at $98.62.
Tim Hortons fell less than 1% Thursday to close at $53.44. The stock has risen nearly 14% over the last year. And Dunkin Brands closed Thursday up 1.5% to $30.66. The stock has climbed more than 9% since its market debut in July.
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Typical American: No retirement savings, no savings account, 10K in CC debt, underwater mortgage, two oversized POS SUV/Pickup that cost $100 just to fill the tank, overweight, etc. The typical American keeps this worthless company going. $4 for a cup of coffee, get a brain transplant.
I live in the heart of Starbucks home turf ( Seattle )
And after trying all the competitions coffee including Dunkin Donuts I would say by far the very best coffee I have ever had is Tim Hortons !
I think it is sad they do not have any stores out here in the west,
If only the people here knew what they are missing !
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The company has made at least 4 acquisitions in the space, and few people have paid any attention.
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