Starbucks stock, SBUX stock, restaurant stocks

John Culver, the company’s current COO, will work with the company as an advisor until Jan. 1, 2023

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced yesterday that its Chief Operating Officer (COO) position, currently held by John Culver, will be eliminated, starting Oct. 1, 2022. Culver’s actual employment with the company will end on Jan. 1 2023, as he acts as an advisor in a non-executive capacity at his current salary in the interim, and his severance package will include $3.75 million. 

The shares of Starbucks are inching lower in the wake of the news, down 1.3% at $87.41 at last glance. Recent support at the 10-day moving average has helped guide SBUX higher in the past couple months, and this trendline could step in as a floor again today. Year-to-date, the security is still down 24.3%, though it’s added 23.1% in the past three months. 

When we last checked on Starbucks stock, the equity was on rise following upbeat quarterly results. Analysts were quick to chime in with bull notes after the event. However, the brokerage bunch is still somewhat lukewarm on the coffee name, with 13 of the 25 in coverage calling it a “hold.” What’s more, the 12-month consensus price target of $94.17 is a 6.4% premium to current levels. 

Options traders, on the other hand, have remained bullish. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.47 that sits in the 76th percentile of its annual range. In other words, there’s been a healthier-than-usual appetite for calls of late. 

Echoing this, the stock’s Schaeffer’s put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.80 sits higher than just 22% of annual readings. This implies short-term options traders have been much more call-biased than usual. 

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