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All That Coffee Gets to Starbucks' Stock

July 03, 1998|Bloomberg News and Times Staff

Coffee and books. That pretty well sums up the upside market action on Thursday, ahead of the long July 4 holiday weekend.

Investors pushed shares of coffee king Starbucks Corp. up $4 to a record $56.63 after the company said sales in stores open at least one year rose 4% in the five weeks ended June 28. More customers visited its 1,500-plus U.S. locations in that period than in any period in the last eight months, analysts said. So summer may be here, but coffee drinking isn't fading. Or maybe it's the Frappuccino.

"The coffee flavor was never given its due place in a customer's mind," said analyst Mitchell Speiser of Lehman Bros. "Now the flavor is being embraced all year round."

And what goes with coffee? Maybe it's just a coincidence, but shares of three big booksellers all surged to new highs on an otherwise weak market day. Barnes & Noble soared $5.06 to $44.50, Borders Group jumped $2.69 to $39.63 and Amazon.com leaped $9.88 to $124.

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Jumping Java

Starbucks shares, which hit a record on Thursday, are up 48% this year. Weekly closes and latest, on Nasdaq:

Thursday: $56.63

Source: Bloomberg News

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