Global caffeinated-beverage-behemoth Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is getting it done all over the world. The results are in for the second quarter, and the results are simply great across the board. The highlights:
- Comp store sales are up 7% globally, and 12% in China/Asia Pacific (CAP)
- Sales up 18% on strong comps and store-count growth since last year
- Earnings per share of $0.33 are highest ever (split-adjusted) for the second quarter
- 210 net new stores opened in the quarter
Let's take a closer look at the details.
CAP growth is fueling growth, but something to watch
There's little doubt that China, Japan, and the rest of Asia's Pacific rim is critically important to Starbucks' growth ambitions. The company opened its 5,000th CAP store in the quarter.
The region now accounts for more than 23% of the company's total stores, and that percentage is going to grow in coming years. More than half of the 1,650 net new stores Starbucks will open this year will be located in this region. However, the company's operating margin in this region took a big nosedive as a result of the company's acquisition of its Japanese stores from a franchiser.
Management says that operating margin for the year should approach 20%, but this quarter's result was a decline from 21.8% in Q1. However, the good news is clear: Operating income is up 29% as a result of the Starbucks Japan acquisition, in addition to organic store growth. In short, this metric should stabilize at some point, and because it's only going to be an increasingly important segment, management needs to stay on the ball here.
Americas, EMEA segments remain strong even with economic and currency headwinds
The strength of the U.S. dollar can be a weakness for multinationals like Starbucks right now, but the company continues to drive bottom-line growth. This is especially clear in its EMEA segment, which is dealing with a very weak euro in the midst of an economic crisis that's dragged on for more than five years. Revenue in the segment actually declined in the quarter, but operating income and margin both increased notably.
The biggest driver behind the revenue decline? The company is shifting stores in parts of the region to licensees, meaning less direct revenue to the company. Comps actually increased 2% in the region. So far, the economic benefits of using more franchises and less direct locations looks like it's paying off in this part of the world.
Americas continues to perform well, but at first glance, it looks like the company actually closed stores in the region. This is actually a bit misleading, as the net result of two stores closed in the segment was the result of Target shutting down its Canadian stores, which resulted in the closure of 132 attached Starbucks locations. Factor those out, and the company actually opened 130 new stores in the region.
The net result was revenues up 11% and operating income up 17% in the Americas last quarter. Solid results, largely driven by 7% comps growth, were fueled by initiatives that have added a number of offerings to customers that have appeal at multiple times of the day, including beer and wine in the evenings, and more food choices throughout the day.
Put a lid on it
It's hard not to gush about Starbucks' incredibly solid performance, yet again, even in the face of economic and currency pressures overseas, and a domestic market that has to be approaching saturation. (How many times have we heard that?)
Yet with each passing quarter, CEO Howard Schultz and his team show they can find ways to increase sales without making a visit to the local store overwhelming.
As to China and Asia-Pacific, the store count makes up 22% of the company, but the region only accounted for about 13% of sales last quarter. This opportunity is still in the early stages, and it's probably going to take a long time for it to be fully realized. It looks like Schultz and company have figured it out, and they're happy to play the long game.