Thursday, September 27, 2007

Starbucks Downgraded - Short Thesis Playing Out

Andy Barish one of the best restaurant analysts who resides at Bank of America (BAC) downgraded Starbucks (SBUX) to a sell early this morning. Barish places a $23.00 price target for the coffee themed quick service restaurant which closed at $27.69 yesterday. Supporting his call he cites: slowing growth; EPS / margin / same store sales risk to the downside; and, a contraction of the earnings multiple. BAC 2008 EPS estimate for SBUX is $1.02 versus consensus of $1.06. When initiating my recent short in SBUX I also came to the conclusion that growth was slowing, that earnings estimates will soon be reduced and that the PE had further to decline. It is nice to be in Barish’s company. Expect Barish’s peers to follow his lead in cutting EPS and price targets for SBUX.

At the time of this Blog entry Scott Rothbort, his family and or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC were long shares of BAC and short shares of SBUX --- although positions can change at any time.

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