business news in context, analysis with attitude

CNBC reports that by one measurement - stock price - Dunkin’ Brands appears to be in the catbird seat in its battle with Starbucks.

According to the story, “Over the past two years, Dunkin’ shares have rocketed around 50 percent higher, while Starbucks has fallen more than 10 percent.”

While analysts concede that this won’t last forever and that Dunkin’s stock price may be over-indexing its actual performance, there seems to be a general feeling at the moment that Dunkin’ may have the wind at its back. Starbucks, on the other hand, is seen by analysts as a maturing company that probably has too many stores, is having to close underperforming units, and has had to deal with executive departures, including that of chairman Howard Schultz.
KC's View:
Stock price, of course, is only one way to measure success. While I’m not sure that I completely buy the idea that Dunkin’ Donuts is going to supplant Starbucks in the public consciousness, I do think it is fair to argue that Starbucks is a) maturing, and b) is in need of some sort of internal disruption that reinforces its relevance.