Starbucks Corporation (SBUX): A Star Who Has Lagged the Market

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With the S&P 500 climbing 7.26% year-to-date, the largest coffee retailer in the world has only inched up 3.55%. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) recorded record earnings in 2012 and is going to continue to grow over the next several years. I believe this underperformance has provided a buying opportunity for those searching for an investment in this high-flying market.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)

2012 in review

Fiscal 2012 was a record year filled with growth for Starbucks.

Revenue increased 14% to a record $13.3 billion

Earnings per share increased 18% to $1.79

Opened 1,063 net new stores globally

Operating margin increased 0.2% to 15%

$1.1 billion was returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases

All of these statistics show that the company is moving in the right direction. The part of this report that stuck out to me was the $1.1 billion returned to shareholders. Management made sure to calculate these totals so investors know that there is more to owning the stock than just price appreciation.

First quarter results

The first quarter of fiscal 2013 was another record setter. The report was released on Jan. 24 and included these financial highlights:

Revenues increased 11% to a record $3.8 billion

Earnings per share increased 14% to a record $0.57

Opened 212 net new stores globally, including its first 3 in India

Global comparable store sales increased 6%

In the report, Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz made a powerful statement by saying, “Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has never been better positioned to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves around the world and I have never been more optimistic about our future.” I believe every word of this and think this is only the beginning of Starbucks’ record setting run.

Earnings expectations

Analysts believe in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) about as much as Howard Schultz. Earnings are expected to grow at an incredible rate over the next 3 years and these estimates may even be too low. This projected growth is shown in the chart below.

2013: 20.7% growth

2014: 21.3% growth

2015: 19.9% growth

Store growth

In 2012, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) opened 1,063 net new stores to bring their total to 18,066. Management announced that they expect to open another 1,300 stores in 2013, a 22% increase year-over-year. The global growth model of Starbucks is unmatched in the industry and will be beneficial in its mission to continue increasing shareholder value.

Stock snapshot

As of the market close on Mar. 28, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) was trading at $56.95. At this level, it was trading at 30.6 times earnings, which is right around the industry average of 31.3. However, based on 2015 earnings, it was trading at a multiple of just 18.1. Overall, the stock is trading 8.15% below its 52-week high of $62 reached in April of 2012.

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