Salomon Smith Barney upgraded Starbucks (SBUX ) to outperform from in-line.
Analyst Mark Kalinowski says Starbucks reported a strong earnings report -- its best release in the last few years, beating his 18 cents estimate. He attributes this to 9% same store sales growth, and effective cost controls. He says ahead, the company stated that January comparison sales will be above the company's prior 3% to 7% target.
He notes that this would be difficult to overestimate as January marks the first month that the company is up against tougher comparsions, yet it looks like comparisons may double his prior 4% forecast. Kalinowski raised his 66 cents fiscal 2003 (Sept/) earnings per share estimate to 68 cents, and upped the 82 cents fiscal 2004 estimate to 83 cents. He has $27 target.