‘Buy Starbucks’ into earnings, says top technical analyst

Starbucks shares are heating up.

The coffee chain has rallied more than 13 percent in the past three months, shaking off a broad decline on the S&P 500, to get back within range of record highs.

Ahead of its earnings report after the bell Thursday, one top technician says it looks like a buy.

“The trend looks pretty good,” Piper Jaffray chief market technician Craig Johnson said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “The stock broke out of a huge multiyear consolidation, pulled back, found support around $64, $65, now at $66, it looks like it’s starting a new leg higher.”

Starbucks last hit a record high in November. It is a 3 percent rally from returning to those levels.

“Typically from a technical perspective, this should be a decent entry point to buy the stock,” added Johnson. “Yes, we’ve got earnings coming this week, but I’d be buying the stock into that print.”

The company’s long-term strategy is also paying off, says Erin Gibbs, portfolio manager at S&P Global.

“They definitely made some missteps over the past few years with the purchase of Teavana, some of their in-app ordering, but they’ve corrected those and they’ve really refocused on new products, and their announcement of their expanded delivery with Uber Eats is creating a lot of buzz,” Gibbs said on “Trading Nation” on Tuesday.

Starbucks on Tuesday expanded its partnership with Uber Eats to offer delivery in six new U.S. cities, including New York and Los Angeles. The company already has delivery services internationally, including in China, Japan and India.

“We’re still expecting about 10 percent earnings growth for next year, which is well above the S&P 500, so they certainly deserve a higher valuation,” said Gibbs. “We’re looking at good organic revenue growth, really some interesting partnerships going forward, and we like this stock. We have it in a couple of our portfolios.”

Starbucks is expected to post 9.5 percent revenue growth in its fiscal 2019 year ending September, according to estimates compiled by FactSet. Analysts anticipate earnings growth to accelerate to 13 percent in fiscal 2020.

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