Why Now Is a Great Time to Buy Starbucks


It's already been a pretty busy year for Starbucks (NAS: SBUX) . The coffee chain has posted record profits, announced the launch of its own single brew system, and purchased a bakery to expand its food offerings. Even with all this action, there's still a fair question to be asked about the company's future value. The stock is down over the last week due to an earnings miss and a downward revision in guidance. Even with that drop, Starbucks still has a lot to offer investors.

Changes in-store
Starbucks has announced a few initiatives and goals for 2012 that investors are betting on already. In June, Starbucks announced its plan to purchase San Francisco-based La Boulange bakery. This adds to Starbucks' baked goods line, and should help the company increase its average customer receipt value. In its last quarter, Starbucks posted a weak increase in average ticket value, rising only 1%.The addition of new bakery items should help push this figure up.

In July, the company announced a new line of cold beverages called "Refreshers." These are fruity drinks that are caffeinated using green coffee beans. Though not mentioned explicitly in the launch, investors should be cheering the extra value that Starbucks is generating here. Starbucks already purchases huge amounts of green coffee every year. Most of it is roasted for coffee blends, but the addition of the green coffee beverages means that spare coffee can be used to create another high-margin product.

Changes out of store
The biggest out-of-store development for Starbucks is its announcement regarding single brew machines. This puts it in direct competition with Green Mountain Coffee (NAS: GMCR) , maker of the Keurig brand of single brew machines. Green Mountain has seen its shares fall 59% this year due to lackluster results. Green Mountain faces increasing trouble this year as its K-Cup patents expire in September. Starbucks then will be able to swoop in and start taking market share with its strong distribution network and brand.

Along with expanding into homes, Starbucks has struck a deal with Coinstar (NAS: CSTR) to bring coffee to the shopping masses. The two companies are building a network of automatic coffee dispensers that will be located in grocery stores, big retailers, and the like. The companies plan to have 500 of the kiosks in place by the end of the year, selling a range of Seattle's Best brand of coffee. This is a great deal for both companies, giving Starbucks a foothold into additional locations, and helping Coinstar diversify its kiosk portfolio.

One last unknown
The biggest question for Starbucks right now is whether it will make a bid for Peet's (NAS: PEET) . Almost immediately after Peet's Coffee announced its proposed sale to Joh. A. Benckiser, investors started wondering if a counteroffer was in the works. JAB's offer amounts to $73.50 a share, and Peet's shares are currently trading at $75.50, a 3% premium to the offer. Analysts have said that the difference indicates Peet's investors are expecting a rival bid. Starbucks could offer that bid.

The major benefit for Starbucks would be a larger foothold into the European market. Currently, Starbucks' entire European, Middle East, and African store division produces only 9% of total revenue. If it wants to expand that, Peet's could be a key into international grocery stores. Starbucks' main concern now will be the price tag associated with any bid. Peet's is trading at 33 times forward earnings, putting an incredible premium on the company's future.

The bottom line
Starbucks has already made some exciting headlines this year. The company is expanding its offerings in a meaningful and organized way. I think that Starbucks can make a great addition to portfolios lacking in retail or restaurant stocks. With a good-looking 2012 ahead of it, this stock should have no problem keeping up with the competition.

Starbucks' next big hurdle is making better progress outside of the U.S., but that's not everyone's problem. For instance, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has to worry about a number of things, including the expiration of key patents later this year. Read all about the key opportunities and risks facing the company in our just-released premium research report on Green Mountain. To make sure you know everything you need to know about this fallen growth stock, click here.

The article Why Now Is a Great Time to Buy Starbucks originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Andrew Marder does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coinstar, Starbucks, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls on Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a lurking gator position in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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