Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) will get $7.15 billion upfront in cash from Nestle S A/S ADR (OTCMKTS:NSRGY) for the rights to sell Starbucks coffee products in retail and food-service channels. SBUX stock is up almost 3% at 6 a.m. this morning in pre-market trading.
The caffeine-fueled tie-up will enable the Swiss coffee giant to use Starbucks’ brand in its Nespresso and Dolce Gusto capsule systems as early as next year.
Starbucks said it will use the cash to accelerate share buybacks, lifting the total expected to be returned to shareholders to about $20 billion via repurchases and dividends through fiscal 2020.
The news comes as investors were disappointed in the company’s April 26 earnings report, which showed same-store sales up only 2%, but net revenues up 14% year over year, to $6 billion.
The deal also gives Nestle the rights to sell branded packaged coffee products, including Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks VIA, Torrefazione Italia and the Teavana tea brand. Starbucks last November agreed to sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever NV (ADR) (NYSE:UN) for $384 million.
InvestorPlace contributor Dana Blankenhorn last week noted that at its May 3 opening price of about $56.70 per share, Starbucks is selling at a price-to-earnings ratio of about 18, well below the average stock in the S&P 500. That’s also about 20 times its operating cash flow, which came in at $4.1 billion for its most recent fiscal year.
“Compared to other companies, in other words, Starbucks is a bargain. Its financial results are increasingly tied to the fast-growing China consumer market, rather than the slow-growing U.S. market. Its management has proven itself adept in a crisis. It’s not one size fits all because it has competent local managers, not just Americans trying to run everything.”
SBUX stock added 2.76% on May 4, trimming last week’s losses to 1.21%.