Starbucks is actually still a buy despite chairman Howard Schultz leaving: UBS

UBS forecasts the coffee chain will “maintain U.S. as well as global coffee category outperformance,” with multiple sales initiatives enabling what the idea predicts as 2 to 4 percent same-store sales growth annually over the next few years. the idea added which while the magnitude as well as timing of Americas sales improvements remains the near-term challenge, “against low expectations as well as valuation, we believe downside is actually relatively limited.”

The bank continues to view Starbucks among the higher-quality growth stores from the large-cap consumer category with “robust global store development as well as return of capital opportunities.”

Myron E. Ullman, former chairman as well as CEO of J.C. Penney, will replace Schultz as the next chair of the company’s board.

Under Schultz’s leadership, the stock has grown 21,000 percent since its initial public offering in 1992. He currently owns 37.8 million shares of Starbucks, or a 3 percent stake, worth about $2.17 billion.

Speculation is actually today rife as to the outgoing chairman’s political ambitions, with rumors which he may be considering a presidential bid. In his memo to company employees, Schultz wrote, “I’ll be thinking about a range of options for myself, coming from philanthropy to public service, although I’m a long way coming from knowing what the future holds.”

—CNBC’s Sarah Whitten contributed to This specific report.

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