Coming From Behind in ‘09: Starbucks


If you think there’s not a trade to be had in this awful market, then it’s time for you to wake up and smell the coffee.

We’re talking Starbucks.

Yes, yes... we know according to Jeff Macke the foam's been off the latte at Starbucks for some time. And with McDonald’s moving in on their territory you’d think the java giant had been slain.

But Pete Najarian’s says, think again; there are still plenty of Starbucks snobs out there. (Starbucks snobs are otherwise known as people who wouldn't buy their java anywhere else.)

Because of that fierce brand loyalty Najarian has developed a taste for the stock. “The number of visits per month went up in November,” says Najarian. “I think by mid-2009 they could have things figured out.”

And CNBC’s Jane Wells tells us that keeping customer loyalty has become a priority for Starbucks. Also she says the company is doubling its cost cutting measures for 2009, saving $400 million dollars.

In fact, more analysts believe Starbucks will come out of the downturn smarter with its brand intact.

Still, even the most caffeinated bulls caution investors will need to be patient. Sales continue to slide, down 9% so far this quarter--and detractors are not hard to find.

One of them tells us, “the trend is down until they come up with a better business model than letting hippies run the place.” But then again, that quote was from Jeff Macke.

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 17th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Macke Owns (MCD), (MSFT); Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Najarian Owns (ENER) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (UYG) And Is Short (UYG) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (IBB); Finerman's Firm Owns (OIH) Puts; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (VNO), (FCE.A), (USO)