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Green Mountain shares dive on word of Starbucks' one-cup machines

March 09, 2012|By Stuart Pfeifer
(Toby Talbot/Associated…)

Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. plummeted on news thatStarbucks Corp.intends to sell a single-cup coffee machine of its own.

Green Mountain dominates the single-serve market with its popular Keurig, or K-Cup, machines. Its shares were down more than 15% Friday on news that Starbucks plans to sell single-cup Verismo machines this fall. Starbucks shares were up more than 2% Friday.

Starbucks has not yet released pricing for the Verismo, but SunTrust Robinson analyst William Chappell wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that he expects the Starbucks machine to start “around the $250-$300 range,” about twice that of Green Mountain’s Keurig machines.

Starbucks first entered the single-serve coffee market with its Via Ready Brew instant coffee in 2009, and it launched its K-cup packs for Keurig single-cup machines in November.

The new machines will make espresso drinks as well as brewed coffee.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz has said in the past that the company's packaged-goods business could one day rival its retail business.

“The premium single-cup segment is the fastest-growing business within the global coffee industry,” Schultz said in a statement. “We have long believed that the biggest prize within the segment is a high-pressure system that would give us the opportunity to deliver Starbucks-quality espresso beverages at home and at work for customers who desire the Starbucks espresso experience outside our stores.”

Starbucks will sell the Verismo online and at select retail stores as well as specialty retailers across the United States, Canada and select international markets.

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