Short Interest in Starbucks Co. (SBUX) Declines By 10.5%

Starbucks Co. (NASDAQ:SBUX) saw a large decline in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 25,978,849 shares, a decline of 10.5% from the February 15th total of 29,030,886 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 12,215,357 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.1 days. Approximately 2.2% of the company’s shares are sold short.

In other Starbucks news, EVP Vivek C. Varma sold 73,242 shares of Starbucks stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.36, for a total value of $5,006,823.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 140,882 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,630,693.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Vivek C. Varma sold 70,364 shares of Starbucks stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total value of $4,928,998.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 138,004 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,667,180.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 565,806 shares of company stock valued at $38,789,988. 3.98% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SBUX. HC Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Starbucks by 233.5% in the third quarter. HC Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 27,445 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $1,560,000 after buying an additional 19,215 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Starbucks by 10.1% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 93,728 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $5,327,000 after buying an additional 8,596 shares during the last quarter. Unigestion Holding SA lifted its stake in Starbucks by 864.1% in the third quarter. Unigestion Holding SA now owns 438,666 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $24,933,000 after buying an additional 393,166 shares during the last quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Starbucks in the third quarter valued at approximately $237,000. Finally, Meyer Handelman Co. lifted its stake in Starbucks by 6.4% in the third quarter. Meyer Handelman Co. now owns 78,580 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $4,467,000 after buying an additional 4,700 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.42% of the company’s stock.

SBUX stock opened at $70.74 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $87.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 0.50. Starbucks has a fifty-two week low of $47.37 and a fifty-two week high of $72.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.73, a current ratio of 1.41 and a quick ratio of 1.16.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The coffee company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $6.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.49 billion. Starbucks had a return on equity of 193.00% and a net margin of 11.98%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.65 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Starbucks will post 2.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 22nd. Investors of record on Thursday, February 7th were paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 6th. Starbucks’s payout ratio is 59.50%.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. BidaskClub raised Starbucks from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 15th. CIBC lifted their target price on Starbucks from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Bank of America set a $75.00 target price on Starbucks and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Starbucks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, January 28th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Starbucks in a research note on Friday, December 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.01.

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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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