Starbucks' Same-Store Sales Fall Below 4% For First Time Since 2009

Shares of
Starbucks CorporationSBUX
were trading lower by around 4 percent Friday morning after the company's
and outlook failed to impress investors.

Report In Review

Starbucks reported that it earned $0.52 per share in the quarter on revenue of $5.73 billion versus analysts' expectations for an earnings per share of $0.52 on revenue of $5.85 billion.

Jason West
of Credit Suisse highlighted in a research report that beyond Starbucks' headline numbers, margins were "solid," but the company's
reported U.S. comps growth of 3 percent is concerning.

West continued that the weaker U.S. comps not only fell short of the consensus estimate of 4 percent but marks the fourth quarter in a row where the company missed this key metric as the U.S. retail business represents around 62 percent of the company's total profits.

SSS Below 4%

In fact, West noted that Starbucks' report on Thursday marks the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009 that the Americas same-store sales have fallen below the 4 percent mark.

West argued that Starbucks' poor U.S. comps reinforces his concerns that the company's sales and margin guidance will be challenging to achieve in the near term.

"We have also been hesitant to recommend the stock until we see more signs of stabilization in the SSS trajectory, which has yet to occur," West stated.

Other Concerning Areas

West also highlighted two other areas of concerns in the quarter including: 1) customers loaded $2.1 billion on Starbucks Cards, up 15-percent year-over but falling shy of the 19 percent growth over the last 12 months and 2) slowing breakfast sandwich sales.

Shares remain Neutral rated with a $55 price target which implies a 25x next 12 months P/E multiple, which is already a premium to the restaurant industry at approximately 21x.

At last check, shares of Starbucks were down 3.87 percent at $56.20.

Posted In: Jason WestStarbucksStarbucks CompsStarbucks EarningsStarbucks US CompsAnalyst ColorEarningsNewsGuidanceReiterationRestaurantsAnalyst RatingsMoversGeneral

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