Listen For This Stuff at Starbucks Analyst Day
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Maybe my opinion is somewhat biased given large amounts of caffeine intake, but Starbucks has quietly become one of the more exciting companies to follow in public stock land. The products are invading supermarket shelves (Greek yogurt next?), there is a new coffee machine being hawked at checkout, mobile payment has flourished, and a global store remodeling/new store opening push is well underway. While I am not discounting the importance of all these fun facts, when it comes to an analyst day one always must be looking for more unique things that stick out (and in this case, support a bullish case on a stock that reflects bullishness). I expect a positive analyst day for the company, and am locked and loaded on receiving greater color around the below topics.
•How will the Teavana brand be integrated within Starbucks stores and the supermarket supply chain? If Teavana tea gets brewed inside of Starbucks locations, that may indeed add an extra layer of process and costs (that initially is not recouped).
•Where else could there be acquisitions? I reiterate that Starbucks wants no third party products in its stores, just full ownership of its brand (bye-bye Kind bars?).
•In light of Yum Brands sounding an alarm bell on China (ditto specialty apparel retailer Guess), what is Starbucks seeing in the country? I don't believe whatever Starbucks is experiencing causes it to downshift its expansion plans, but it could weigh on initial return metrics around newly opened stores.
•Are quarter to date U.S. same-store sales running near the upper end of guidance (rumors on the Street is that they are)? Certainly have laid eyes on more holiday themed goods in Starbucks this season; more options, more sales due to the fact certain products may have not been on sale a year earlier (also take note of this pricey new coffee Starbucks is selling, as I pointed out in a weekend tweet).