The Daily Dose: Secret Menus and Risk

 | Jan 23, 2014 | 10:00 AM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

ebay

,

sbux

,

mcd

,

cmg

I have been trying all this month to find a way to jazz up this column TheStreet trusts me with writing each morning. Mind you, the column has always been super spunky because, hey, that's yours truly. So I think the only path left  is to make this page as visually appealing as possible -- short and punchy and a direct reflection of the Twitter feeds you see lighting up every day. Here we go.

Is Starbucks a Coach or a Best Buy?

Nope, Starbucks (SBUX) isn't either by any stretch of the imagination. But my firm, Belus Capital Advisors, downgraded the stock on Jan. 13, 2014, citing this primary factor:

  1. No appreciation of new risk factors by the broader consensus, such as a food shift that is causing operating issues in the store (and some lost sales) and a shift in how consumers are, well, consuming stuff.

More could be learned in this CNBC video and accompanying pre-earnings prep comments.  I thought these Starbucks tweets that I sourced in an early morning walk-through are helpful (still trying to decipher what the red packets are from an international Starbucks).

 

Flash: McDonald's Weak Quarter

I wrote this column before McDonald's (MCD) earnings results hit the newswires, so how did I know the quarter was going to be weak? One simple answer: the stores are being fundamentally hurt by the out-of-control new initiatives flowing in from McDonald's headquarters. That is a thought I pointed to here in 40 undercover photos. Avoid the stock: get ready for a strong quarter from Chipotle (CMG).

Starbucks, Chipotle, and McDonald's are loving the social media talk over secret menus.

 Inside EBay

eBay (EBAY) is a stock my firm rated a hold, basically for all of 2013 (I know, not very actionable). I just wasn't digging the market's response to the company's slowing revenue and margin growth rates. As it pertains to the Icahn battle cry news, I can state this from having discussions with EBay in the not too distant past:

 

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