Investors at Starbucks Corp's
But Starbucks, scrambling to cut costs amid a sharp downturn in consumer spending, may prefer promoting a series of new products introduced over the past year, all aimed at reinvigorating the bottom line.
Demand is always going to be a challenge in this environment. If they can deliver on their cost savings at least I can sink my teeth into that ... and feel a little better about the numbers, RBC Capital Markets analyst Larry Miller said.
I'm less interested in the (product) innovation that's going on, Miller said. It's not that I don't appreciate it, but in this environment it kind of feels like it's just getting lost on people.
Schultz came back to the company he built into a global household name in January 2008 and has since announced plans to close nearly 1,000 underperforming stores, lay off thousands of workers and slash costs.
At last year's meeting with investors, Schultz announced Pike Place Roast, the company's new everyday brew, and laid out plans to transform a business that had begun to soften.
While he is likely to spend time this year talking up new products from oatmeal and instant coffee to discounted breakfasts -- all designed to drive new business -- investors and analysts will be focusing on the company's goal to cut fiscal 2009 costs by $500 million.
The company's shares have shed more than 70 percent of their value from 2006 highs.
Schultz was CEO of Starbucks from 1987 to 2000. During that time, the company went public, grew rapidly in the United States, and expanded overseas at an aggressive clip.
In its most recent earnings report, Starbucks reported earnings excluding items of 15 cents per share on revenue that fell to $2.6 billion from $2.8 billion. The chain has roughly 16,000 cafes globally.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Editing by Edwin Chan, Bernard Orr)