With the five years prior:
Yes, I know, Starbucks
And let's not forget Starbucks' unusual propensity to create free cash flow. Even in 2000, when bottom-line growth stalled completely, free cash flow went positive for the first time in the company's history as a public entity.
Larry's concern is understandable. But I wonder whether, instead of witnessing the beginning of the end, as he suggests, we're witnessing the beginning of a beginning -- of a new phase of growth? Meet me in Vienna for a decaf cinnamon dolce latte, and we'll talk it over.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Find Tim's portfolio here and his latest blog commentary here. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is a recovering java junkie.