Starbucks, Ulta Salon, U.S. Bancorp Win Investors at 52-Week Stock Highs

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX): Starbucks’ planned single-serve brewer “Verismo” could further pressure its smaller competitor Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) with its own single-serve coffee Keurig system. Other big names, like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), are also rumored to be working on single-serve products. This makes buying into Green Mountain’s weakness a gamble suited only for very risk-tolerant investors, Barron’s contends. Starbucks is the safer bet, Barron’s says, as it could see meaningful earnings accretion from Verismo, given a growing market and the firm’s track record of savvy product introduction. Starbucks has solid fundamentals behind its no so cheap stock price, including a 29% ROE, a a 1.4% yield, and a long-term growth rate of 18%, ahead of the industry average. The shares closed at $51.84, up $1.47 or 2.92% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $33.72 to $50.75.

Ulta Salon Cosmetics (NASDAQ:ULTA): Ulta Salon CEO sees being able to build 1,000 stores in U.S. Piper Jaffray raised its estimates and price target for Ulta Salon following the company’s better than expected Q4 results and guidance. Piper calls Ulta Salon one of its top growth stocks and keeps an Overweight rating on the name. The shares closed at $89.28, up $0.01 or 0.01% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $43.02 to $90.36.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB): The Federal Reserve is expected to release the results of its stress tests of U.S. banks this week, and the tests are expected to show that the banks’ balance sheets have improved, according to The New York Times. The results are expected to be divulged by Thursday, the newspaper added. The shares closed at $29.72, up $0.56 or 1.92% on the day. They have traded in a 52-week range of $20.10 to $29.79.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at