Starbucks set to brew record second-quarter revenue as vaccinations rise

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FILE PHOTO: A Starbucks sign is shown on one of the company's stores in Los Angeles

By Uday Sampath Kumar

(Reuters) – After a year of declining sales, Starbucks Corp on Tuesday is expected to report record second-quarter revenue of over $6.8 billion, as speedy vaccinations in the United States and China make customers more comfortable with returning to their morning coffee runs.

The world’s largest coffee chain was plagued in 2020 by falling store traffic, as rising infections and the closure of most offices prompted many to start making coffee at home.

“Not everyone’s gone back to work, but a lot of people have. So in the mornings you go by the Starbucks and you’re back to seeing drive-thrus having long lines,” Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said on the company’s U.S. business.

The bulk of the benefit of the U.S. economy reopening will be seen in the coming quarters and investors will be paying especially close attention to Starbucks’ forecast, he added.

For a graphic on Starbucks Q2 sales performance in the last decade:

https://graphics.reuters.com/STARBUCKS-RESULTS/PREVIEW/xegvbxwxevq/chart.png

For an interactive graphic on Starbucks’ Q2 sales performance in the last decade, click here: https://tmsnrt.rs/3tWVTYc

THE CONTEXT

Twelve months ago, Starbucks was reeling from the fallout of the early stages of the pandemic, with its stores around the globe either closed or operating under heavily limited capacity.

Fast forward a year, and analysts say the framework the company has built with its online ordering service, loyalty program and drive-thru lanes place it in a strong position to take advantage of a recovering economy.

“They’re doing a lot of right things. The digital mix is now over half the business, mobile pay is a quarter of transactions and the newer menu items have seen a lot of traction,” Wedbush Securities analyst Nick Setyan said.

“So they have a lot of visibility into customer habits, more so than any other name in the industry.”

Revenue from the company’s smaller international segment is expected to rise about 58%, largely on the near full recovery of business in China and a slowdown in the expansion of accounting scandal-ridden rival Luckin Coffee.

THE FUNDAMENTALS

* Starbucks is expected to report second-quarter net revenue of $6.82 billion, a 13.7% increase from a year ago and an 8.1% rise from 2019, according to analysts’ mean estimate, based on Refinitiv data.

* Americas revenue expected to rise 7.1% from last year to $4.64 billion

* Earnings per share expected at 53 cents, up from 32 cents.

For a graphic on Starbucks vs. S&P 500:

https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/buzz/ygdvzleowvw/SBUX16.PNG

WALL STREET SENTIMENT

* Starbucks has an average “buy” rating on Wall Street and a median price target of $119, according to Refinitiv data.

* The company’s shares last traded at $115.71, having gained over 53% in the last year.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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