Starbucks earnings are out after the bell today. I believe if earnings come in below expectations, this will be a great buying opportunity for long term investors. One concern for potential investors right now may be the high p/e multiple, currently around 37 times earnings.
However, long term, the strong growth from Starbucks will continue to impress. The company is pushing hard into China and Greater Asia with the market in China now the second largest for Starbucks, behind only the USA. CEO Howard Schultz has said the company plans to open 500 stores in China, every year for the next five years. Clearly, management is looking to take advantage of the growing incomes there. For those investors who may be doubting coffee culture in China or the rise of the consumer would be mistaken. This past March, when I was in China, every Starbucks I passed was jam packed. Now, before you dismiss an empirical observation, the numbers confirm what I saw, fourth quarter revenues in Asia doubled year over year for the company. Rising incomes in the region and the growing emergence of a middle class will only continue to drive top and bottom line growth for Starbucks.
With further expansion plans into South Africa and Italy, Starbucks growth is not tapped out and will continue for the company. This is without mentioning the loyalty program, increased mobile app usage, and the continued innovation in the stores with wireless charging and free wi-fi in stores.
Starbucks is currently valued at $90 Billion and I wouldn't be surprised to see news headlines in the future highlighting how Starbucks has passed McDonalds (valued at $110 Billion) in terms of market cap. The arches are parting way for the green apron.