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Starbucks Chatter Is Appetizing


The company knows what it's doing -- and this is a coffee-addicted society.

I forgot to mention it yesterday, but over the weekend both of my kids were in a one-mile race -- my oldest finished fourth out of 63 kids in her age group and my youngest finished sixth of 43 kids in her age group. Sorry, proud papa here and this is my venue to brag.

Asian stocks rose overnight. The Hang Seng was up 2.06% and the Nikkei rose 0.91%. However, European stocks were in negative territory earlier this morning. And here in the US, we're currently trading higher.

Here's what I'm focused on today:

Starbucks (SBUX):
There's bound to be lots of chatter this morning about the new instant coffee the company is set to serve up around this great coffee-addicted nation.

Some quick thoughts:

1. This isn't a new idea for Starbucks; it's something that's apparently been tested and floating around for a while. I certainly don't feel that the company or management is going into this on a shoestring, which is good. From what I understand, the price will be attractive too, which would be good given that many coffee drinkers (and non-coffee drinkers) have dinosaur arms and are pinching pennies for obvious reasons.

2. One thing though. If it's really tasty and consumers go gaga over it, might that diminish their demand for Frappuccinos and other fast-selling drinks?

3. All in all I must admit that I'm upbeat about the product's chances, particularly if and when it makes its way into grocery stores. I'm also liking the stock more and more these days and think there's some upside to be had here.

4. Keep an eye on that 52-week high because if it punches through, there's a chance it could fly (like the rhyme?)

See Why Palm's First-Quarter Beat Isn't Enough for my latest take on Starbucks.

Coca Cola (KO) / Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS):
The skinny is that Citigroup (C) slapped a Buy rating on both drink companies.

1. I think that's a smart move for the simple reason that with the economy improving, folks are going to frequent more stores and restaurants, and therefore enjoy more of those types of beverages.

2. Beyond that, I think both companies still have big growth potential here in the US and abroad. More people equals more soda drinkers (more smokers, too, but that's a different story). Simple math.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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