A week or so ago Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks (SBUX), said he thought he was seeing a bottom in his company’s business. It must have been a mirage.
Starbucks reported a quarter that disappointed Wall St. and indicated that the day’s of rapid growth are in the company’s past.
Revenue rose 3% to $2.52 billion from $2.44 billion. Analysts expected sales of $2.58 billion. Same-store sales, or sales at locations open at least a year, dropped 8% in the U.S. as fewer customers came into the stores.
According to the AP, Seattle-based Starbucks said profit fell 97 percent to $5.4 million, or $.01 a share, from $158.5 million, or $.21, a year earlier. The coffee retailer earned $.10 per share when the costs from closing about 600 stores in the U.S. and 61 locations in Australia are excluded. Analysts expected profit of $.13 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.
So much for Mr. Schultz coming back to turn the company around.
On the poor earnings news, Starbucks fell to $9.78 after hours. The 52-week low for Starbucks is $9.16 against a period high of $24.40.
Although Mr. Schultz has closed a number of outlets and fired several thousand employees, he continues to do remarkably well financially. According to the Starbucks proxy, in the last fiscal year, Mr. Schultz had total compensation of $10.6 million, of which just under $1.2 billion was cash. Schultz also has access to company aircraft, which he has to reimburse the company for personal use, and personal security.
Douglas A. McIntyre