Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Starbucks’ shares have underperformed the industry year-to-date. The company has been experiencing tepid comps growth in the United States for quite a while now amid persistent decline in the country’s restaurant sales. Starbucks reported tepid 3% comps growth in the first nine months of fiscal 2017 against 6% in the year-ago period. The U.S. restaurant space has not been too enticing for investors for the last few quarters. Despite economic growth, consumers increased their spending only modestly on dining out, which resulted in low consumption over the last few quarters. That said, Starbucks is strengthening its portfolio with major innovations, best-in-class loyalty program and digital offerings to counter tepid sales growth. Although these initiatives might benefit it in the long run, the consequential increment in spending is likely to create pressure on its earnings in the near term.”

SBUX has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $63.00 target price on shares of Starbucks Corporation in a report on Friday, September 1st. Mizuho reissued a buy rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of Starbucks Corporation in a report on Friday, September 29th. UBS AG set a $67.00 price target on shares of Starbucks Corporation and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued an average rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Starbucks Corporation in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Guggenheim lowered shares of Starbucks Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $64.24.

Shares of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ SBUX) traded down 1.50% on Wednesday, reaching $54.57. 11,741,092 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $78.79 billion, a PE ratio of 27.55 and a beta of 0.78. Starbucks Corporation has a 12-month low of $50.84 and a 12-month high of $64.87. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $54.69 and a 200-day moving average price of $57.61.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The coffee company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55. The business had revenue of $5.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.76 billion. Starbucks Corporation had a net margin of 12.93% and a return on equity of 52.82%. Starbucks Corporation’s revenue was up 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Starbucks Corporation will post $2.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Starbucks Corporation news, Director Myron E. Ullman III sold 22,966 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.41, for a total transaction of $1,226,614.06. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 36,966 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,974,354.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider John Culver sold 64,776 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.54, for a total transaction of $3,468,107.04. Following the sale, the insider now owns 390,341 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,898,857.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Starbucks Corporation by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 94,417,613 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $5,505,491,000 after purchasing an additional 1,953,003 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Starbucks Corporation by 2.7% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 60,822,661 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $3,551,445,000 after purchasing an additional 1,598,669 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its stake in Starbucks Corporation by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 45,458,682 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $2,650,696,000 after purchasing an additional 895,432 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Starbucks Corporation by 7.8% during the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 30,770,264 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $1,796,675,000 after purchasing an additional 2,234,324 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Starbucks Corporation by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 21,452,905 shares of the coffee company’s stock valued at $1,250,919,000 after purchasing an additional 1,060,298 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.77% of the company’s stock.

Starbucks Corporation Company Profile

Starbucks Corporation (Starbucks) is a roaster, marketer and retailer of coffee. As of October 2, 2016, the Company operated in 75 countries. The Company operates through four segments: Americas, which is inclusive of the United States, Canada, and Latin America; China/Asia Pacific (CAP); Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and Channel Development.

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Analyst Recommendations for Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)

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