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Starbucks Writing Off Investment in Living.com

BRIEFLY / BEVERAGES

August 17, 2000|Reuters

Starbucks Corp. said it is writing off more than $20 million from its investment in failed furniture Web site Living.com and warned that recent turmoil among Internet companies could lead to additional write-downs. Starbucks said the $20.6-million loss represented its entire stake in Austin, Texas-based Living.com, which on Tuesday laid off its 275 employees, shut down its Web site and filed for bankruptcy. The noncash charge will reduce Starbucks' after-tax earnings by about 7 cents a share for its fiscal fourth quarter ending Oct. 1. Excluding the charge, Starbucks said it is still on track to earn 22 cents a share for the quarter and 71 cents for fiscal 2000, in line with forecasts. Starbucks' other investments in Internet companies include a $10-million stake in kitchen supply and culinary Web site Cooking.com; $25 million in Kozmo.com, a quick-delivery online convenience store; and $8 million in TalkCity Inc., an online community developer. Starbucks shares closed off 31 cents at $40.44 on Nasdaq.

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