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Take Starbucks profits, buy some coffee

Starbucks investors should consider taking their profits and buying a cup of coffee instead of overvalued shares, Barron's said on Sunday.

Shares of the coffee and related paraphernalia purveyor have risen more than 30% since last September, and the company will have saved more than $500 million this fiscal year by closing stores, cutting overhead and slashing other costs.

Despite those moves and earnings growth that might last into 2011, Starbucks's shares trade at a high price-to-earnings ratio of 22, based on expected fiscal 2010 profits. That multiple concerns Barron's, which said the company has not been able to boost revenue and has not said how fast it hopes to do so in the future.

Starbucks' chief financial officer told Barron's that it will have an opportunity to increase revenue again, but Barron's reported that in its most recent quarter, Starbucks reported a 6% decline in same-store sales. (Reuters)