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Because it lowered its estimated sales growth range for 2024 from 10%-12% down to 7%-10%, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) disappointed the market with its recent first-quarter results. This downward revision — paired with the company’s slowing growth rates in recent quarters — helps explain why Starbucks’ stock price currently sits 29% below its all-time highs.

Management didn’t revise its earnings-per-share (EPS) guidance of 15%-20% growth in 2024. Leaving these expectations intact, Starbucks looks like a value, according to Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem, whose price target of $105 implies a 17.5% upside over the next 12 months.

Fadem thinks the discounted share price already reflects any upcoming Q2 dissatisfaction and predicts a rebound for Starbucks’ stock. Considering its market-beating indicators, Starbucks could prove to be a buy at today’s prices.

Starbucks’ market-beating potential

Leading off Starbucks’ list of market-beating indicators is its influential brand (ranked 27th most valuable global label by brand equity platform Kantar Brandz). Higher than Meta Platforms’ Instagram, Walt Disney, ByteDance’s TikTok, and Netflix, Starbucks’ inclusion on Kantar’s Top 100 Brands list is noteworthy to investors. These stocks have outperformed lesser-known brands by two percentage points annually since 2006. Best yet, this status shows no signs of weakening because Starbucks remains the most popular brand among Gen Z and millennials.

Meanwhile, the company’s return on invested capital (ROIC) of 63% is the fourth-highest among its S&P 500 peers. Measuring Starbucks’ profitability compared to its debt and equity, this top-tier ranking is critical considering the company’s plans to grow its store count from 38,000 to 55,000 by 2030. Companies like Starbucks that can reinvest in their businesses at such a profitable clip have proven to nearly double the returns of their lower-ranked peers.

Furthermore, the company’s 2.5% dividend yield only uses 58% of its net income, leaving Starbucks well-positioned to continue raising its dividend for another 14 consecutive years.

With a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 24, Starbucks looks like a premium business trading at a market-average price, leaving me to think Fadem will be proven right over the long haul.

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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Wells Fargo is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Josh Kohn-Lindquist has positions in Meta Platforms, Netflix, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Meta Platforms, Netflix, Starbucks, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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