Starbucks shares crater after a poor forecast causes Wall Street analysts to bail

  • Starbucks shares fell 7 percent in Friday's session after the coffee chain projected weaker than expected global comparable sales growth of 3 to 4 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • Both Stifel and Guggenheim lowered their rating on Starbucks stock.
  • The company also announced it will shutter all of its 379 Teavana locations by spring 2018.

Multiple Wall Street firms downgraded Starbucks shares after the company gave weaker than expected sales guidance and announced the closure of all its Teavana stores.

The coffee chain's shares fell 7 percent in early trading Friday.

Starbucks gaveglobal comparable sales growth guidance of 3 to 4 percent for its fiscal fourth quarter versus Wall Street expectations of 5 percent.

As a result, Stifel lowered its rating for Starbucks to hold from buy.

"Our hold rating on Starbucks shares reflects our view that global and US comp store sales will continue their decelerating trend due to macroeconomic factors in retail/restaurants and share loss," wrote Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan in a note to clients Thursday. "We believe both pressures could lead to a need for increased investment to change the current glide path, ultimately resulting in management reducing long-term EPS targets."

Starbucks shares rose only 2 percent in the previous 12 months through Thursday versus the S&P 500's 14 percent return.

Astrachan decreased his price target to $58 from $66, representing 3 percent downside from Thursday's close.

Guggenheim Securities also downgraded the coffee chain to neutral from buy on its revised guidance and slowing rewards membership growth.

"In FY17 SBUX has struggled to unlock the next meaningful sales-driving initiative," wrote Guggenheim analyst Matthew DiFrisco Friday. "Their digital platform and Starbucks Rewards is beginning to show stagnant growth, as it delivered 36 percent of total sales for the quarter, inline with F2Q17."

The Guggenheim analyst lowered his price target to $58, down from $70, representing 3 percent downside from Thursday's close.


Starbucks reports mixed quarter