Shares of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) are down 3% today, following a downgrade by the German banking giant Deutsche Bank. Lead analyst Brett Levy decided to reduce the rating from Buy to Hold, while cutting the price target to $64 (from $70), as lofty expectations and current valuation increase downside risk and offer a less attractive risk-reward.
Levy explained, “We believe the combination of lofty near-term investors’ expectations, operational changes and a premium valuation creates a less favorable risk-reward on the shares. We continue to respect the company’s longer-term strategy (execution, innovation, infrastructure investments on labor, technology and capital management), and remain impressed with Starbucks’ industry leading SSS growth and solid profit growth, but believe these factors are fully priced into the shares at this time.”
Furthermore, “We believe SBUX shares are largely at fair value at this point, based on our expectations for more limited upside to its results in the coming quarters. We are therefore taking a pause from recommending the shares. While solid topline growth has translated into mid-teen earnings growth over the last few quarters (in-line with its long-term model), it has not always translated into meaningful earnings upside (as the company often reinvests in its business) or share price appreciation. With SBUX already executing at the top of its game and with challenging comparisons (domestic SSS of ~8% / global comps of +5% or better over the last year), the shares offer a less attractive risk-reward.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Brett Levy has a yearly average return of 3.6% and a 60% success rate. Levy is ranked #1612 out of 3787 analysts.
Out of the 12 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 7 rate Starbucks stock a Buy, while 5 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 14%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $67.22.