It is perhaps poetic justice that not long after Starbucks became one of the world's biggest virtue signalers, when the company decided it would become the world's biggest public toilet in the aftermath of the Philadelphia incident in which two black men were arrested for doing nothing, the company released its most disappointing guidance in years, in which it not only announced it would shutter 150 underperforming stores, and slashed Q3 global comp store sales guidance from +3% to barely positive, ot +1%, but it also admitted that the growth phase is now over, "as the company now expects to return approximately $25 billion in cash to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends through FY20" a $10 billion increase from the cash return target announced on November 2, 2017, and confirmation that NFLX can't even come up $10bn in growth initiatives.
As part of the guidance, Starbucks whose executive chairman Howard Schultz announced two weeks ago he is leaving the company at the end of the month, announced three strategic priorities "to regain revenue and earnings momentum":
Accelerating growth in the U.S. and China, the company’s targeted long-term growth markets;
Expanding and leveraging the global reach of the brand through the Global Coffee Alliance; and
Sharpening the focus on increasing shareholder returns.
Slamming his own performance, Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and ceo said that "while certain demand headwinds are transitory, and some of our cost increases are appropriate investments for the future, our recent performance does not reflect the potential of our exceptional brand and is not acceptable."
This was followed by more token corporate speek:
“We must move faster to address the more rapidly changing preferences and needs of our customers. Over the past year we have taken several actions to streamline the company, positioning us to increase our innovation agility as an organization and enhance focus on our core value drivers which serve as the foundation to re-accelerate growth and create long-term shareholder value.”