The former CEO of Starbucks Corp, Howard Schultz, declared the possibility of a presidential run as an Independent in a recent 60 Minutes interview which drew the ire of Democrats who fear he would cannibalize votes from their ticket. Schultz was recently heckled at a New York City book event; coffee drinkers began threatening to boycott Starbucks and baristas are considering taking off their aprons, putting down their tamps and walking away from their steam wands. But even with all this commotion, SBUX stock managed to gain 1.14% over the last week.
Starbucks short interest is $2.45 billion; 36.59 million shares short; 3.04% of float; stock borrow is General Collateral (30 bp fee). SBUX is the most shorted stock in the Restaurant Sector, followed by Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and McDonalds (MCD). With former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, announcing a potential presidential run in 2020 as an independent and possibly splitting the Democratic anti-Trump voting block there have been calls for a retaliatory boycott of Starbucks.
Shares of Starbucks (SBUX US) have risen in line with the S&P 500 Index year-to-date, with both yielding 8% and 8.5%, respectively. However, over $1.62 billion of exposure is currently at risk on the short side by bearish speculators betting on Starbucks stock price to eventually get roasted.