Starbucks Corp.'s stock rose 0.5% in midday trade Thursday and was on track to reach its 10th record closing high this month, after Jefferies analyst Andy Barish raised his price target to $108 from $97. The new target is 14% above current levels. Barish believes positive changes in consumer behavior, resulting from the improvement in the economy and cheaper gas prices, will fuel strong same-store sales growth, he said. He said management's more "agile and analytical" store development plan, with more than half of U.S. store openings having drive-throughs, should boost overall revenue and returns. "Drive-thrus are producing higher [annualized unit volumes], margins and returns as they provide more choice and convenience for the consumer --benefits echoed in the early roll out of mobile order and payment," Barish wrote in a note to clients. A close above $94.26 would mark a record high. The stock has run up 15% in 2015 and 19% over the past three months, compared with gains of 2.5% and 1.9%, respectively, for the S&P 500.
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