Starbucks (SBUX) Talks About Missing Earnings, Again

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Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks (SBUX) keeps retreating from his previous forecasts of how the company will perform financially for the last part of this year and into 2009.

The SBUX CEO today remarked that same-store sales had been down over the last several weeks. According to MarketWatch, he said, "the coffee-shop chain is facing deteriorating comparable store-sales and the company won’t meet Wall Street’s profit target for the current quarter of 21 cents a share."

The Starbucks press release covering its analysts’ meeting was mostly gibberish.

Cliff Burrows, president, Starbucks Coffee U.S., reviewed specific actions being taken to address performance-driving initiatives at the store level. During his presentation, he stated: “We are focused on making our existing stores perform better every day. With a rationalized store portfolio, we will improve profitability by implementing operational efficiencies at every step in the supply chain as well as within each store.”

The event concluded with remarks from Schultz, highlighting the true differentiator for Starbucks: the daily, human connection between customers and store partners. Sharing highlights from the recent North America Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Schultz spoke about the company’s partners (employees) and their passion to serve customers and enhance their experiences with Starbucks, as well as their commitment to the company’s long-term success.

Schultz should not be spending so much time talking before CEO trade groups.

The entire release of the company’s comments is here.