Starbucks Stepping Up Southeast Asian Expansion


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There's going to be even moreStarbucks ( SBUX ) stores in the world. On Wednesday, the coffee giant announced further plans to expand into Southeast Asia.

Starbucks unveiled plans to open 100 new stores in Malaysia over the next fours years and said that it'll look into ways to expand into channels such as grocery and convenience stores. It currently has 141 stores in Malaysia.

In recent months, the company announced plans to open more stores in Indonesia and the Philippines. And it has pledged to double its store count in Thailand.

Starbucks still does a big part of its business in the Americas region, which includes the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Last fiscal year ended in September, the Americas accounted for 75% of total revenue.

But as Chief Executive Howard Schultz noted in a press release in April, Southeast Asia represents a strong growth opportunity. The region has a population of more than 600 million, with an emerging middle class.

The Seattle-based firm has a long history of strong growth. Except for an 18% drop in 2008, profit has grown by double digits each year since at least 1995. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see profit rising 22% to $2.18 a share this year.

Starbucks only started paying shareholders cash dividends about three years ago. It has since raised its quarterly dividend from a dime a share to 21 cents. The company last raised the payout in November.

At an annual rate of 84 cents a share, Starbucks has a yield of about 1.3%. Although this is one of the lowest in the Retail-Restaurants group, Starbucks has one of the highest Composite Ratings.

On Wednesday, Starbucks closed back above a 65.03 buy point from a three-weeks-tight pattern. It initially cleared the secondary buy setup June 7 in heavy trading.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Investing Ideas

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