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Starbucks Stock Plunges After Declining Same-Store Sales Weaken 2024 Outlook

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Key Takeaways

  • Starbucks shares plunged more than 12% in premarket trading Wednesday after the coffee chain reported quarterly results that fell short of expectations and trimmed its outlook for fiscal 2024 amid declining same-store sales.
  • CEO Laxman Narasimhan said customers in the quarter had been more cautious about where and how they spend their money.
  • Monitor if the Starbucks share price can close above the lower trendline of a descending channel around $81.

Starbucks (SBUX) posted quarterly earnings and revenue that came up short of Wall Street expectations amid an unexpected decline in both U.S. and international same store sales, news that sent the coffee chain’s shares sharply lower in premarket trading Wednesday.

The Seattle-based company late Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter adjusted earnings of 68 cents per share, whereas analysts had called for 79 cents a share. Net sales in the period fell 2% to $8.56 billion from a year earlier and came in below the $9.13 billion Street estimate.

The company’s same-store sales fell 4% in the quarter, driven by a 6% decline in cafe traffic. Analysts had expected same-store sales growth of 1%. Regionally, same-store sales decreased 3% in the U.S. and 6% internationally. In China—Starbucks’ second largest market — the metric contracted 11% on the back of the average ticket shrinking 8%.

“In this environment, many customers have been more exacting about where and how they choose to spend their money,” Starbucks’ CEO Laxman Narasimhan told analysts on the company’s conference call. Narasimhan also said a deteriorating economic outlook in several of the coffee chain’s markets had contributed to a reduction in customer traffic.

Revenue and EPS Guidance Slashed

Looking ahead, the company trimmed its 2024 revenue growth guidance to the low single digits, down from its earlier forecast of 7% to 10%. It sees global and U.S. same-store sales growth raging from low single digits to flat, below its prior projection of 4% to 6%.

Turning to China, Starbucks, anticipates same-store sales to decline by single digits compared to its previous outlook of a single-digit increase. On the earnings front, the company guided full-year bottom-line growth of flat to low single digits, down from its prior earnings growth forecast of 15% to 20%.

Key Chart Level to Watch

Starbucks shares have traded within a descending channel since March 2023, with the price testing the pattern’s upper and lower levels several times over the past 13 months. Leading into the coffee chain’s quarterly results, the stock has consolidated just below the 50-day moving average, indicating indecision among market participants.

Although the price sits poised to open on Wednesday below the channel, investors should monitor if it can close above the pattern’s lower trendline around $81. A failure to hold this important technical level could potentially see a retest of two prior prominent price troughs near $71.

Starbucks shares were down 12.7% at $77.30 about three hours before the opening bell. Through Tuesday’s close, the stock had lost about 23% of its value over the past 12 months.

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As of the date this article was written, the author does not own any of the above securities.

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