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Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR ) climbed 7% yesterday -- and are trading nicely higher today -- after Canaccord Genuity analyst Scott Van Winkle reiterated his buy rating.
I'm not necessarily a fan of reiterations, especially when the analyst is sticking to the same price target issued earlier – which, for those scoring at home, remains $94 for the company behind the Keurig single-serve coffee phenomenon. This really amounts to little more than clearing one's throat to remind everybody else that you're still there.
The real meat in reiterations come in the additional color that analysts provide. Just as Van Winkle's reiteration two weeks ago was accompanied by encouraging data from last month's K-Cup rollout at Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX ) , the analyst is seeing more encouraging trends early this holiday season.
Van Winkle's channel checks show that K-Cup products are commanding 30% to 50% more shelf space than last year. The new Starbucks K-Cups -- as well as this summer's introduction of Dunkin' Donuts (Nasdaq: DNKN ) coffee K-Cups and ConAgra's (Nasdaq: CAG ) Swiss Miss hot cocoa K-Cups -- are helping beef up the related SKUs, but grocers and retailers wouldn't be giving the Keurig platform more room if they weren't selling more.
Then we get to retail distributors that weren't even on this bandwagon a year ago. Van Winkle finds that brewer sales at Dunkin' Donuts locations are running more than double his estimate. That's pretty impressive, especially since the brewer rollout at select stores didn't really kick in until just two weeks ago.
I would never fathom that someone forking over $2 for coffee and a jelly-filled doughnut would be up to adding a $100 brewer to the order. Then again, some people are just fanatical about their Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup coffees. I can only imagine that business will pick up as procrastinating shoppers realize that it's easier to tack on a Keurig brewer to a breakfast run than to head out to a crowded mall.
Van Winkle also points out that early holiday sales have been strong without any material price promotion on Green Mountain's part. Sure, I've seen K-Cup brewers as lightning deals on Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) and Overtstock.com (Nasdaq: OSTK ) has a few small brewer discounts, but these are primarily retailer price promotions. They're hooking buyers with Keurig hardware because they know it's what people will be buying during this first holiday season where Starbucks and Dunkin' K-Cups are available.
So keep on reiterating. Hopefully the fundamentals continue to improve to the point where price target hikes accompany the next wave of throat clearing.
If you want to follow this caffeinated saga, add Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to My Watchlist.