In the fifth year of a bull market and with the Dow hitting record highs, few quality stocks are available for rock-bottom prices these days, so Sean O'Reilly's top pick for 2015 isn't going cheap, but its long-term potential is off the charts.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) Already a household name in 66 countries, some analysts believe this company could outpace McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) itself in the not-so-distant future. Tune in to Industry Focus find out which company has caught O'Reilly's eye and learn about its surprising five-year growth plan.
A full transcript follows the video.
Nathan Hamilton: Can you guess Sean O'Reilly's top consumer stock of 2015? We'll tell you on this edition of Industry Focus.
Well hello Fools, I'm Nathan Hamilton and during the intro, if you don't know Sean O'Reilly, he's the guy next to me here. We're talking top consumer stock of 2015.
Sean O'Reilly: I realize that we've got a lot of people listening to us on a podcast, but if you're watching, can you guess the stock?
Hamilton: Yes! It may or may not be Starbucks.
O'Reilly: It may or may not be Starbucks! It actually is. We are also not doing this because there are four Starbucks within walking distance of our office!
Hamilton: Sure. What makes 2015, or looking beyond 2015, such an important year for Starbucks?
O'Reilly: Right. They just came out -- and we're going to bring it back around to this point in a bit here, because I wanted to go over where they are now -- but earlier this month they came out with their growth plans for basically everything out to 2020, and it is pretty impressive.
Hamilton: What sort of details are buried within it? Store count?
O'Reilly: Yes. Currently, they've got about 22,000 retail stores in 66 countries -- as I mentioned, four of which are right around the corner from us right now. They are the coffee brand. They've started something big, to where they've got mimicking companies ... they're it, when it comes to premium coffee.
They came out with this plan to open up tens of thousands more stores, to drive profits and everything. It's a big deal.
When I was picking the top stock for 2015 I was like, "Man, the Dow just passed 18,000 for the first time. We're in like the fifth year of a bull market, next year's looking pretty good, GDP just came in at 5 ..." we're obviously not buying at bargain prices, and I think all of our listeners know that.
So then I was like, "Okay, what stock could we buy right now, after this huge bull run that we've been on, that has growth potential and you could probably forget about for 5-10 years and do pretty OK with?" Immediately, Starbucks came to mind.
Hamilton: You mentioned store count, or their ambitious growth plans. How much of that is U.S.-centric?
O'Reilly: Not at all.
Hamilton: Yes, a lot of it comes down to China and so forth.
O'Reilly: Yes. I think everybody knows that the population of China is 1.2 billion. Their middle class ... we're talking about, the population of the United States will be their middle class before long.
Starbucks' plans are very international-focused. You're talking about tens of thousands of stores in China alone. Their plan is to double sales by 2020; this is huge numbers we're talking about here.
Any company of their size, and we're talking about a company with a market cap of $60 billion right now, talking about doubling their revenues by 2020 ... had I not seen it and read it and saw their plans and everything, I would not have thought that six months ago. I'd have said, "Oh, they're already huge, and there's four around our office," so what's going on here?
When you look at the numbers and you compare them to not just where they are now, but where their plans are, it's kind of a big deal. The other thing that I loved was, if we go to a Starbucks -- I don't know, right now -- there might be a little bit of a line. But had we gone there a couple hours ago, in the morning, bananas.
A big trend that we're seeing with restaurants; Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) did this with Taco Bell, obviously, with their breakfast menu. They wanted to get more traffic in the mornings because that was their dip period. McDonald's had obviously ruled breakfast in the fast food area for a long time.
The other thing that I loved -- it's basically two-pronged -- is obviously international expansion, and the other thing that I like about Starbucks' growth plans is the evenings. They're going to start putting alcohol on the menu. They're going to have an evening menu.
Hamilton: Not just coffee anymore.
O'Reilly: Not just coffee anymore. It's going to be more of a lifestyle type thing.
The other thing that was crazy -- this is obviously not going to be a huge growth driver -- but they have, up in Washington State, a Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.
Hamilton: What is that, exactly?
O'Reilly: Picture a giant warehouse where you can try all kinds of fancy coffees at a bar thing. It's kind of like going to a brewery, for coffee. They're going to be dropping a few of those here and there.
They're going to be furthering the culture in a way that I don't think anybody anticipated. They've obviously had this huge amount of growth since the '90s, but I think we're going to be really surprised.
When you talk about getting people in there buying alcohol, which is typically a higher mark-up item -- a huge chunk of restaurants' profits comes from alcohol sales. We saw that with Olive Garden, that the hedge fund ... was it Starboard?
Hamilton: It may have been.
O'Reilly: Anyway, that's not important. The point is, they said, "You guys need to be pushing alcohol more, because that's where a lot of the profits are."
They were like, "Well, we're kind of more of a family place."
Hamilton: And no free breadsticks.
O'Reilly: And no more free breadsticks.
Hamilton: No more free breadsticks!
O'Reilly: Criminal! I will not go to Olive Garden ever again if they take away the breadsticks!
So you're talking about not only getting bodies in there in the evenings, but selling a pretty hefty profit margin product. That's kind of a big deal.
Then you can get pretty hefty comps growth out of an already amazing company domestically, here in the United States, and then opening tons more stores? I don't know, this seems like the kind of a stock that you stick in your mattress and forget about for 5-10 years.
Hamilton: You mentioned best stock, or best consumer stock of 2015. You're looking at this as a much longer period than, say "investors are going to make money in 2015 on Starbucks."
Hamilton: It's more ...
O'Reilly: This does not have the guarantee for that, although you probably will.
Hamilton: Looking at it, Starbucks has laid out this ambitious growth plan, doubling their revenue, store counts booming significantly.
O'Reilly: And their management team is amazing.
O'Reilly: Sorry to interrupt, but a lot of companies have come out -- not to knock another tech firm, but IBM (NYSE: IBM) obviously had that $20 earnings per share by, was it 2015?
Hamilton: Yes, they dropped that pretty quick.
O'Reilly: They dropped that, yes.
Starbucks, they have never failed, ever. They are still led by their founder, and he's clearly a visionary -- he's gotten their phone sales, for just the cards and everything. Not only is the plan ambitious, but I trust them to do it.
Hamilton: I guess the markets actually trust them quite a bit, because the stock's not cheap.
O'Reilly: No, it's not. I was thinking back about it because I was like, "Oh, do I really want to recommend Starbucks?" but this is part of Foolish investing -- just paying up for quality. Can anybody think, besides the financial crisis or something, of a time when Starbucks looked cheap? It hasn't.
O'Reilly: It really, really hasn't. But currently it's trading for 30 times current earnings, so this is ... (unclear) earnings yield.
Hamilton: Definitely not cheap.
O'Reilly: No. That's a tech firm, right there.
Hamilton: I know! Do they make cash? Are they profitable?
O'Reilly: Yes, so they're already beating all the tech firms!
O'Reilly: No, I'm kidding. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) makes at least ... Google and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)!
They're 25.7 times forward earnings, so you're talking about a company that's expected to grow 20% already off a huge base, so they're not slacking by any stretch of the imagination.
Not only that, but I hopped on S&P Capital IQ and I looked at the analyst assessments. There are 22 analysts that spend a good chunk of their time covering Starbucks, and they're looking at 16% earnings growth, compounded all the way out to 2018.
O'Reilly: So, you're paying 25 times forward earnings for something that's going to grow at 15-16% to the end of the decade? You could do a lot worse, you really could.
Especially compared to, in our space we've got a lot of these staid household names, like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and Clorox (NYSE: CLX), and all this stuff. Not knocking Clorox -- great company; I obviously use them to do my laundry and all that stuff -- but Clorox trades for 24 times earnings. They don't have anywhere near the growth potential of a Starbucks.
Hamilton: So, somewhat fairly valued, not extremely overvalued?
Hamilton: That's the moral of the story?
O'Reilly: Yes, that's the moral of the story.
The other thing I wanted to throw in there was that Mark Kalinowski over at Janney Capital Markets -- I just thought this was interesting. This assumes, obviously, a little bit of growth on McDonald's part, but he said by 2025 Starbucks will be bigger, not just in market cap, but just everything. Starbucks will be bigger than McDonald's by 2025.
O'Reilly: And this is the poster child of a huge restaurant chain.
Hamilton: Are you talking revenue, or is this store count ...?
O'Reilly: He specifically threw out market cap, and then I looked at it and it's actually not that hard to do. McDonald's market capitalization is currently about $90 billion, so if you've got $90 billion lying around, feel free to go buy McDonald's. Starbucks is $60, so that's only 50% growth.
I know they're kind of getting ripped on a little bit right now, but it's hard to believe that McDonald's won't have any growth at all in the next 10 years. If you look at, McDonald's can do $100 or $110 or $120 billion in 10 years, which actually is not that hard -- awful growth, actually; if they just do that, that's bad -- but Starbucks will surpass them by then.
That's ... I don't know, passing the torch.
Hamilton: Yes. Well, great. I appreciate your insights. I feel like the best way to end this is cheers to 2015!
O'Reilly: Cheers. Go, Starbucks!
Hamilton: Thanks for listening, Fools!
Nathan Hamilton owns shares of Apple and Google (A shares). Sean O'Reilly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), International Business Machines, and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.