Starbucks Co. (SBUX) Sees Large Decline in Short Interest

Starbucks Co. (NASDAQ:SBUX) saw a large drop in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 30,558,548 shares, a drop of 21.2% from the January 15th total of 38,764,143 shares. Approximately 2.5% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 14,859,241 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.1 days.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on SBUX shares. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on Starbucks to $68.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Oppenheimer restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Starbucks in a research note on Friday, January 25th. BidaskClub cut Starbucks from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 2nd. KeyCorp set a $70.00 price objective on Starbucks and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 14th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $66.00 price target on shares of Starbucks in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Starbucks has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.01.

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SBUX opened at $69.99 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $86.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.92, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.73. Starbucks has a twelve month low of $47.37 and a twelve month high of $70.46.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 24th. The coffee company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.10. Starbucks had a net margin of 11.98% and a return on equity of 193.00%. The firm had revenue of $6.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.49 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.65 EPS. Starbucks’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Starbucks will post 2.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 22nd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 7th will be given a $0.36 dividend. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.06%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 6th. Starbucks’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 59.50%.

In related news, EVP Vivek C. Varma sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.13, for a total value of $3,456,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 117,640 shares in the company, valued at $8,132,453.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Clifford Burrows sold 152,634 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.22, for a total value of $10,260,057.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 311,083 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,910,999.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 444,972 shares of company stock valued at $30,358,876 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 3.98% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SBUX. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Starbucks by 6.8% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 90,368,884 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $5,136,569,000 after purchasing an additional 5,714,419 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its position in Starbucks by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 49,371,647 shares of the coffee company’s stock worth $2,806,283,000 after buying an additional 2,254,701 shares in the last quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd lifted its position in Starbucks by 17.5% during the 3rd quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 38,067,340 shares of the coffee company’s stock worth $2,163,748,000 after buying an additional 5,675,224 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Starbucks by 5,590.0% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 23,679,558 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $368,000 after acquiring an additional 23,263,399 shares during the period. Finally, Polen Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Starbucks by 46.8% in the 3rd quarter. Polen Capital Management LLC now owns 18,035,326 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $1,025,128,000 after acquiring an additional 5,748,941 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.28% of the company’s stock.

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Starbucks Company Profile

Starbucks Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a roaster, marketer, and retailer of specialty coffee worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Americas; China/Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Channel Development. Its stores offer coffee and tea beverages, roasted whole bean and ground coffees, single-serve and ready-to-drink beverages, iced tea, and food and snacks; and various food products, such as pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and lunch items.

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