90.94 +0.19 (0.21%)
Pre-Market: 8:00AM EDT
|Bid||89.69 x 1800|
|Ask||91.08 x 800|
|Day's Range||89.65 - 91.46|
|52 Week Range||54.71 - 99.72|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.52|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||32.45|
|Earnings Date||Oct 30, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.44 (1.58%)|
|1y Target Est||96.33|
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. fights the world’s biggest tax case in a quiet courtroom this week, trying to rein in the European Union’s powerful antitrust chief ahead of a potential new crackdown on internet giants.The iPhone maker can tell the EU General Court in Luxembourg that it’s the world’s biggest taxpayer. But that’s not enough for EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager who said in a 2016 ruling that Apple’s tax deals with Ireland allowed the company to pay far less than other businesses. The court must now weigh whether regulators were right to levy a record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill.Apple’s haggling over tax comes after its market valuation hit $1.02 trillion last week on the back of a new aggressive pricing strategy that may stoke demand for some smartphones and watches. The company’s huge revenue -- and those of other technology firms -- have attracted close scrutiny in Europe, focusing on complicated company structures for transferring profits generated from intellectual property.A court ruling, likely to take months, could empower or halt Vestager’s tax probes, which are now centering on fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. She’s also been tasked with coming up with a “fair European tax” by the end of 2020 if global efforts to reform digital taxation don’t make progress.“Politically, this will have very big consequences,” said Sven Giegold, a Green member of the European Parliament. “If Apple wins this case, the calls for tax harmonization in Europe will take on a different dynamic, you can count on that.”Vestager showed her determination to fight the tax cases to the end by opening new probes into 39 companies’ tax deals with Belgium on Monday. The move addresses criticism by the same court handling the Apple challenge. A February judgment threw out her 2016 order for them to pay back about 800 million euros.At the same time she’s pushing for “fair international tax rules so that digitization doesn’t allow companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax,” according to a speech to German ambassadors last month. She urged them to use “our influence to build an international environment that helps us reach our goals” in talks on a new global agreement to tax technology firms.Apple’s fury at its 2016 EU order saw Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook blasting the EU move as “total political crap.” The company’s legal challenge claims the EU wrongly targeted profits that should be taxed in the U.S. and “retroactively changed the rules” on how global authorities calculate what’s owed to them.The U.S. Treasury weighed in too, saying the EU was making itself a “supra-national tax authority” that could threaten global tax reform efforts. President Donald Trump hasn’t been silent either, saying Vestager “hates the United States” because “she’s suing all our companies.”“There is a lot at stake given the high-profile nature of the case, as well as the concerns that have been raised from the U.S. Treasury that the investigations risk undermining the international tax system,” said Nicole Robins, a partner at economics consultancy Oxera in Brussels.Apple declined to comment ahead of the hearing, referring to previous statements. The European Commission also declined to comment. Ireland said it “profoundly” disagreed with the EU’s findings.Richard Murphy, a professor at London’s City University, said the EU’s case “is about making clear that no company should be beyond the geographic limits of tax law.”“Selective attempts to get round the law -- which is what tax avoidance is -- are unacceptable when companies seek the protection and support of that same law” in the rest of their business,” Murphy said.Vestager has also fined Google some $9 billion. She’s ordered Amazon to pay back taxes -- a mere 250 million euros -- and is probing Nike Inc.’s tax affairs and looking into Google’s taxation in Ireland.The first hints of how the Apple case may turn out will come from a pair of rulings scheduled for Sept. 24.The General Court will rule on whether the EU was right to demand unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. Those judgments could set an important precedent on how far the EU can question tax decisions national governments make on how companies should be treated.“It’s very clear that the largest companies in the world -- the frightful five I call them -- are hardly paying taxes,” said Paul Tang, a socialist lawmaker at the European Parliament. “Cases like these, Amazon in Luxembourg or Apple in Ireland, started to build public and political pressure” for tax reform in Europe.The legal battles may go on for a few years more. The General Court rulings can be appealed once more to the EU’s highest tribunal, the EU Court of Justice. Meanwhile, Apple’s back taxes -- 14.3 billion euros including interest -- sit in an escrow account and can’t be paid to Ireland until the final legal challenges are exhausted.For Alex Cobham, chief executive of the Tax Justice Network campaign group, the issue is already in the past and “it’s not even the biggest tax scandal that Apple has” after reports on other structures it may use. Tax reforms under discussion “will ensure much closer alignment of taxable profits and the real economic activity” generated by them.The cases are: T-892/16, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v. Commission, T-778/16, Ireland v. Commission.(Updates with Vestager comment in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at firstname.lastname@example.org;Aoife White in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter ChapmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
SEATTLE-- -- Company appoints Ritch Allison, Domino’s CEO; Andrew Campion, NIKE CFO; and Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple’s Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China. These additions expand Starbucks Board of world-class, values-based leaders, as it continues to build an enduring company. Starbucks Corporation announced today the appointment of Richard E. Allison, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Domino’s; ...
Shares of Wendy's (WEN) were down as much as 11% in intraday trading today, and closed down over 2% on Monday after the company announced they are ramping up spending on their breakfast line for a nationwide release sometime in 2020.
Starbucks' CEO is transforming the pace of innovation at the coffee giant, thanks to his deep technology background.
(Bloomberg) -- The coffee market needs a shot in the arm to break it out of a renewed slumber.Robusta, favored for instant drinks, dropped to the lowest since 2010 on Thursday and is down 4.8% this week. Coffee prices have been weighed down for several years amid too much supply, while a weaker currency in key producer Brazil has recently added more pressure.“We’re still suffering as a result of overproduction,” said Gary Herbert, a senior coffee broker at Sucden Financial Ltd. “There was the big Brazil crop a couple of years ago. This one isn’t so big, but also other countries like Colombia had big crops, Vietnam had reasonable crops.”Robusta futures were little changed at $1,270 a ton in London, down 17% this year. Arabica coffee, used in specialty drinks such as those made by Starbucks Corp., added 0.2% to 95.55 cents a pound in New York, but is down 1.3% this week.Here’s are some key market drivers:Market GlutA second straight global annual surplus has been the main driver of coffee’s slump. The International Coffee Organization this week raised its estimate for the 2018-19 glut by 26% to 4.96 million bags, and inventories are piling up after bumper harvests.A weaker Brazilian real has also hurt sentiment, because it encourages more exports from the key producer. The currency this week touched the weakest in almost a year versus the dollar.Bearish InvestorsMoney managers have been betting on lower robusta prices since December, and while they cut net-short positions slightly recently, they’re still holding one of the biggest bearish wagers on record. Speculators also expect declines in arabica.Chart watchers may find little reason to expect a sizable price recovery soon. Coffee futures have dropped below key moving average levels in recent months, and the 14-day relative-strength index isn’t showing that the market is oversold.Market ImpactLower prices might be good for roasters because they could end up paying less for beans, but they’re piling pressure on farmers. In some nations, prices are below the cost of production, and growers can find it hard to quickly switch to other crops because coffee trees last several years once planted.The price “is pretty low right now, and it’s putting a lot of pressure on many farmers,” Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “There are a number of farmers that are distressed.”In other soft commodities:Cotton is up slightly this week in New York as Hurricane Dorian threatened U.S. crops.Raw sugar is down 1.7% this week, trading near the lowest in almost a year.New York cocoa is set for a 0.7% weekly increase.To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at email@example.com;Olivia Konotey-Ahulu in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at email@example.com, Nicholas Larkin, Dylan GriffithsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Former Starbucks Corp chief executive Howard Schultz has abandoned plans for an independent presidential run, saying he did not want to split the electorate and help re-elect U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a statement on his website. "My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time," he wrote. The potential independent candidate had paused his political efforts earlier this summer over health issues amid a series of back surgeries.
(Bloomberg) -- Benji Walklet recently reviewed the instant java sold by Los Angeles startup Waka Coffee. Walklet, who runs the Coffee Concierge blog, liked it but got a second opinion from a trusted critic—his wife, who has been known to compare coffee she doesn’t like to gasoline. “It passed my wife’s taste test,” he says, “and that’s really saying something.” Walklet typically drinks the real thing but stocked up on a 35-serving pack of Waka instant. “If the day gets off to a slow start or we’re in a hurry, it’s great to have instant coffee,” he says. “I wouldn’t buy Nescafe or Folgers or Maxwell House. That’s the snob in me talking.”Instant coffee, often relegated to brownie recipes and steak rubs, is making a comeback and even winning grudging approval from connoisseurs. A handful of startups including Waka, Sudden Coffee and Swift Cup Coffee have improved the taste and are attracting a new generation of convenience seekers who are too young to associate the product with the stuff their grandparents drank. They don’t mind paying up either: A Sudden four-pack sold at the Chicago-based coffee chain Intelligentsia goes for $13, or about $3.25 a serving.Instant remains a niche product, with just 6% of Americans drinking it, according to the National Coffee Association. But U.S. retail sales of the category rose in the year ended in June—the first gain following at least three years of declines, according to Nielsen data. Rising sales and instant’s popularity among 18- to 39-year-olds have prompted industry stalwarts Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. to re-evaluate the category. “Instant is super convenient and portable,” says Jim Watson, a beverage analyst at Rabobank. “You can throw a couple in your bag and travel everywhere. Instant has always been weighed down by being seen as a really low-end product. These specialty guys are making instant coffee cool again.”Developed by Nestle SA last century, instant coffee was made by spraying brewed liquid into hot air and drying it into powder or granules. Nestle, Folgers and Maxwell House quickly became the go-to brands for middle class people around the world. A Folgers television commercial from that era featured a husband complaining about his wife’s coffee. “Honey, your coffee is undrinkable,” he says. Later, she serves him a cup of Folgers, and marital harmony is restored. “Instant Folgers,” an announcer says. “Tastes good as fresh-perked.”For those who had tried the real thing, instant coffee lacked the body and flavor of a quality cup of Joe. No matter, Americans were hooked on convenience. Making instant involved nothing more than spooning crystals into a mug and adding boiling water—then maybe whitening the concoction with a powdered creamer.Everything changed when Starbucks created the cafe culture in the 1990s and popularized Arabica beans—the premium variety. A snob ethos took hold, and consumers thought nothing of paying $3 or more for a cup of coffee. In 1998, Keurig K-Cups—or single-use pods—entered the mix. It wasn’t quite instant, but provided a popular way for time-pressed people to brew fast.Instant was re-imagined 10 years ago, when Starbucks introduced Via Ready Brew packets in an effort to sell more coffee in grocery stores. Via was made with 100% Arabica beans, cost less than $1 per cup and appealed to people on the go. Sales have been steady but have never really taken off, says John A. Quelch, dean of the Miami Business School at the University of Miami, who has done Starbucks case studies. “They didn’t put a tremendous amount of marketing muscle behind it,” he says.With K-Cup growth slowing and Starbucks not pushing Via hard, a host of small players have emerged, employing new methods they say produce better-tasting instant. They typically freeze-dry Arabica beans and sell their wares online or in specialty coffee shops. Sudden was co-founded by a Finnish barista named Kalle Freese, who pioneered a technique in San Francisco that involves lowering the temperature of brewed coffee to -20 degrees Fahrenheit then heating it slightly to let the water vaporize. The traditional heating method can taste “woody and burnt,” says Sudden Chief Executive Officer Josh Zloof. “There’s no reason from a science perspective why instant coffee has to taste bad.”Sudden, sold in plastic tubes containing 4.5 grams of coffee, can be mixed with hot or cold water. The company avoids the “I” word, choosing to describe the product as “crystallized” rather than instant coffee. The four-year-old startup has raised $5 million and is looking for more funding to ramp up capacity. Zloof says he’s had talks with bigger companies and that it’s just a matter of time before Sudden inks partnerships. He says quality instant solves the “second-cup” problem—when people are looking for an afternoon caffeine fix but don’t necessarily want to head to Starbucks or drink office-provided K-Cups or Nespresso pods. “It’s not really replacing lower-quality instant coffee,” Zloof says. “It’s also not really replacing going to the cafe or the morning ritual.”David Kovalevski, who started Waka last year, says his products have landed in “best instant coffee” lists from major coffee publications and is confident sales will improve as his company educates consumers about the merits of instant coffee and differentiates itself from traditional brands.Instant’s growing popularity has prompted big brands to take a second look. Dunkin’ executives are taste-testing new prototypes and working with partners to create instant varieties to offer in its stores. “The quality has gotten significantly better,” says Dunkin’ CEO Dave Hoffmann. “Before any of that you’d probably rub it on your steak and put it on the grill. You wouldn’t drink that.”Starbucks, meanwhile, is looking to jumpstart growth for Via with new flavors such as blonde roast, iced coffee and pumpkin-spice latte. The company is working on “more innovation to the Via brand in the near future,” a spokeswoman says, noting that the line is luring Keurig loyalists, along with more “mainstream” roast and ground customers.Bailey Manson never thought he’d be selling instant coffee when he joined Intelligentsia seven years ago. “We were naysayers for quite a while,” says the coffee chain’s education and service program manager. Then last year, Intelligentsia teamed up with Sudden to freeze dry a variety of single-origin coffee from Colombia. It sold out, despite the hefty price. “What you’re paying for is the convenience,” Manson says. “Nobody wants to go get coffee and have it be hard.”To contact the author of this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at email@example.com, Anne Riley MoffatFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
'We believe this is a societal problem and we want to take steps within Starbucks for our partners to break the stigma of mental health,' says CEO Kevin Johnson.
(Bloomberg) -- They’ve scrapped the newspapers and beefed up the food, but most Starbucks cafes in the U.S. don’t look all that different today than they did a decade ago. That’s about to change.Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson, in the role for more than two years now, is ripping up the old store blueprints in a bid to revitalize growth. First on the list: a pick-up cafe in New York set to open this fall to cater to busy coffee-drinkers on the go.The Manhattan store, which is still in development, will build off of the chain’s success with its Starbucks Now concept in China that lets customers order in advance on mobile phones and collect their items in a specialty “express” shop without the wait. Starbucks could eventually roll out similar pick-up locations in other cities including Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Johnson said. They aren’t intended to replace the existing cafes, which give consumers a “third place” to relax that’s away from home and work.“What we’re using Starbucks Now for, and what will be Starbucks pick-up stores in the U.S., is to blend them in where we have dense urban areas where we have a lot of Starbucks third-place cafes,” Johnson said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Chicago bureau. “Think of it as a Starbucks pick-up.”Barista SupportJohnson, 58, is also reimagining the chain’s nearly 15,000 U.S. locations by leaning heavily into automation. Shift scheduling and counting inventory are among the tasks being moved off of human workers through automation, which means baristas and managers will have more time to come out from behind counters to tidy up tables and offer free drink samples to customers.They’ll also have more time to plan community events outside of those prescribed by the company, Johnson said. For example, a Starbucks manager in Trenton, New Jersey, used her freed up time to host open-mic nights on Saturdays to boost weekend traffic, the company said.The coffee behemoth is gathering 12,000 store managers and other employees in Chicago this week in its largest worker meeting ever for workshops, classes and lectures on the automation and other changes ahead, plus sessions on mental health and sustainability. It’s a $50 million investment for the Seattle-based company.“Helping partners spend more time with customers -- it’s really at the core of driving growth,” Johnson said. “As we grow, one of the investments we have to make is that investment in labor.”Johnson’s TenureStarbucks, the world’s second-largest restaurant company by market capitalization, has been refocusing on its priority markets of the U.S. and China in a push to underpin more vigorous growth. Earnings in the company’s most recent quarter were a step in that direction, with Starbucks posting its fastest global sales growth in three years.These aren’t the first big changes from Johnson, who has held the CEO title since 2017. He already expanded delivery in both China and the U.S., and he has prioritized getting new food and drinks into the hands of customers faster by slashing development times to as little as 100 days, whereas before it may have taken as long as 18 months.He has also closed poorly performing locations in densely penetrated U.S. markets and turned over some foreign operations to partners. Last year, the company announced it would cut about 5% of its corporate workers in order to boost profit and streamline decision making.Investors have applauded Johnson’s efforts: Starbucks shares have surged nearly 50% so far this year.China GrowthIn China, where it operates about 4,000 restaurants and plans to have 6,000 by 2023, the chain is still expanding at breakneck speed with a new location every 15 hours. Globally, the company is opening a store roughly every four hours.While Starbucks has been in China for two decades, more rivals are popping up, including plucky Luckin Coffee Inc. To compete, Starbucks is experimenting more with ghost-kitchen locations in Shanghai and investing in the pick-up and delivery stores in Beijing that will help model the U.S. version. Tim Hortons is also betting big on China’s large and growing middle class that’s drinking more java.“It’s no surprise there’s going to be more competitors, and that’s okay,” Johnson said of the Chinese market. “More competitors help accelerate the introduction of premium Arabica coffee to Chinese consumers and ultimately, that’s good for the industry. And ultimately what’s good for the industry will be good for Starbucks.”\--With assistance from Jonathan Roeder, Isis Almeida and Elizabeth Campbell.To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at email@example.com, Craig GiammonaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Chief Financial Officer Patrick Grismer told a consumer retail conference hosted by Goldman Sachs that he expected adjusted per-share profit growth for 2020 to be lower than the current 10% rate, pushing shares in the coffee chain down 4%. Grismer said the tax benefit recorded in 2019 could be a "significant headwind" to profit growth in 2020. Wall Street analysts currently forecast adjusted earnings of $3.12 per share for 2020, implying a growth rate of 10.45%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
(Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp. slumped the most intraday in more than seven months after the coffee chain signaled that its profit growth will start to slow.The company spooked investors with a presentation that indicated its recent rate of 10% or more profit expansion won’t carry into next year. Starbucks said the effect of a tax benefit in 2019 will end in its next fiscal year, which starts in October, and the company will also reduce share buybacks. The stock slid as much as 3.9% to $93.03 in New York trading.Starbucks said it was “delivering against expectations” and that the company remains confident in its strategy despite the two “non-recurring” factors hampering next year’s profit outlook.“I would say that we’re firing on all cylinders from an operating performance perspective, with the focus and discipline necessary to drive growth at scale for a company like Starbucks,” Pat Grismer, the company’s chief financial officer, said at an investor conference.Starbucks has made some changes in recent years to revitalize growth, including shuttering locations in U.S. markets that were densely populated with cafes and instead focusing more on suburban markets and expansion in China. In July, the company posted its best quarterly sales growth in three years, boosted by gains in customer traffic and higher prices. It also increased its profit forecast, buoying investors a year after uninspiring results had them questioning the company.The company’s shares had gained more than 50% this year through the close of trading on Tuesday. But that surge may have brought higher expectations from Wall Street.The company faces steep competition in the U.S., where more premium coffee options have resonated with customers. Its plans in China could be hampered by geopolitical tension and local operators with ambitious expansion plans.(Updates with comment from CFO)To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Giammona in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at email@example.com, Jonathan RoederFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Starbucks fell modestly, finding support just above 50-day line. The coffee house giant said FY 2020 earnings growth will be less than 10% vs. its prior target for at least 13%. But that's largely due to pulling stock buybacks into the current fiscal 2019.STOCK MARKET TODAY is sponsored by Interactive Brokers. To open an account, go to ibkr.com/whyib