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Here's What Stood Out in Starbucks' Earnings Report

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® and Brian Withers - Feb 11, 2021 at 6:06PM

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There were a few key statistics from the coffee giant's earnings report that caught our eye.

We recently got a look at fourth-quarter earnings from Starbucks (SBUX 0.10%), and the numbers were pretty impressive all around. But there were two statistics in particular that stood out to some of our contributors. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Jan. 28, Fool.com contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, and Brian Withers discuss the numbers and what investors should watch going forward.

Matthew Frankel: First of all, you said same-store sales in the U.S. were down 5% year over year, I think. That's impressive to me, given what's going on. You can't even go into a Starbucks, like eat and sit inside in most places.

Brian Withers: They talked about it because in this quarter too, the coronavirus ticked up. For some period of time, they were not allowing sitting. I think they've opened it back up to about 60% of their stores in the U.S. now. You can sit there, but I can't imagine anybody [laughs] who wants to do that.

Frankel: Under normal times, I love sitting in Starbucks and getting some work on occasion, it breaks up my routine. I haven't done that lately. But the thing I'm really curious about to watch going forward is you mentioned that the most interesting part of the U.S. to me was their per-ticket sale was up 19% you said, year over year.

Withers: Amazingly, yeah.

Frankel: What I want to know is, is that going to continue after the pandemic? Because I have to think a lot of that is because of how people are ordering now. For example, if I use Uber (NYSE: UBER) Eats to get Starbucks, I'm not going to buy the same one coffee I'm going to buy if I'm in the restaurant. I'm going to buy that, I'm going to get a sandwich, I might get my kids a cake pop which my daughter loves, I'm going to add on stuff. I'm wondering how long-tailed that's going to be and if it's just going to balance itself out or if you're going to see a long-tailed like, in-store business comes back and it's 19% greater per ticket. Because that would be huge if they're really doing that great of a job of selling add-ons and up-selling people.

Withers: Yeah, it'll be interesting. Roz Brewer, the Chief Operating Officer said that certainly group order and things like that won't necessarily continue. But she said the upsizing and the food attachment would likely continue and they've seen a permanent bump. She's been a wonderful addition to the Starbucks family, but by the end of February, she is going to go be CEO of Walmart (NYSE: WMT). I'm not sure how much stock to place in her prediction. I absolutely think that'll be interesting to get any of the ticket value up, even a couple of point is huge for a company like this.

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