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Why Polen Capital Sold Starbucks In Q1

Polen Capital is a global investment management firm that controls over $80 billion in assets.

Benzinga · 06/10/2022 14:51

Polen Capital is a global investment management firm that controls over $80 billion in assets.

The company recently published its first-quarter investor letter, in which it notes that in the first quarter of 2022, its Composite Portfolio returned lost 13.39% net of fees, losing the battle against indices. The Russell 1000 Growth Index, returned a negative 9.04%, while the S&P 500 shed 4.60% in that time frame.

Selling Starbucks: The letter goes on to note its portfolio activity, with a focus on Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX).

“We sold our stake in Starbucks after a 12+ year holding period. In our view, Starbucks continues to be in a unique position to serve its customers who value the quality of its products and the convenient way they can be purchased,” the report said. 

“At the same time, Starbucks’ business is maturing in western markets, and its employee and store-related costs are growing, which should lead to slower earnings growth than we would prefer and further P/E multiple compression. We believe we have better opportunities as we continue to assess the impact of these issues for Starbucks.”

The Last Word: The company’s outlook on Starbucks seems to reflect that of other hedge funds. According to Strike Market, while over 2,000 funds have a position in Starbucks, most of the funds' weighted averages in the stock are less than 0.2% of their portfolios.