Does anyone know how I might get Starbuck's financial filings for the period prior to 1996? The SEC's website only lists filings from 1996 onwards. I have sent an email to Starbuck's investor relations but they have not replied. Should a company that claims to be responsible and purports to be responsive not reply to an enquiry by an investor?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
From: "JoAnn DeGrande" email@example.com
Mr. Greystoke ~
Thank you for your interest in Starbucks.
You probably want to speak with me, not Mary Ellen, as I am responsible for Investor Relations. Mary Ellen works for me. And I work for Pete Bocian, our cfo.
I would be happy to discuss this with you. Please feel free to call me.
director, Investor Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company l 206.318.7893
Here is an update on the situation with Starbucks. Last Wednesday, JoAnn DeGrande, Director of Investor Relations at Starbucks Corporation, sent me an email in response to an email I sent to Mary Ellen Fukuhara to request for Peter Bocian's (Starbucks's CFO) email particulars.
Topic: re: w.greystoker
How much do YOU get paid to create imaginary drama for a company? Or, how much do you get paid for getting responses and stars from a message board? It must be quite lucrative. One more thing...if You ever owned even 0.05% of SBUX stock, you would have recieved the desired info in a hardbound book from Schultz personally. Since you own no shares, your not an investor and are treated as such. It's called "INVESTOR RELATIONS"; not "Custom Research for John Q. Public"
-Sorry I couldn't contribute to your thread, I'm trying to make $.05 myself. -Good Luck on your quest of; narcissism, illusions of grandeur, and that pesky persecution complex.
>>if You ever owned even 0.05% of SBUX stock,
>>you would have recieved the desired info in a
>>hardbound book from Schultz personally.
It would be very rich for a retail investor to own 0.05% of the shares outstanding. But unless this retail investor actually owned Starbucks's stock all the way from IPO to the present, he would not have the filings that I am looking for. How many people can actually claim to have done that?
>> Since you own no shares, your not an
>> investor and are treated as such. It's
>> called "INVESTOR RELATIONS"; not "Custom
>> Research for John Q. Public"
How would you know whether I am an investor or not? William Greystoke is clearly a pseudonym I am using to disguise my identity. Anonymity is a basic and essential component of using the internet safely. Why do you think the investor relations personnel at Starbucks do the same?
But whether or not I am an investor is not relevant. The point of having an investor relations department is to make sure that a company projects the right image to the market. Any company that feels it can ignore or otherwise piss-off investors who are not currently shareholders must hold the attitude that it can tell the vast majority of the market to go f^ck off. And that is exactly the attitude Starbucks is exhibiting. What good does it do to the members of this company if the people they pay to burnish Starbucks's image acts to destroy it instead? How does it benefit Starbucks to ignore the stock market? Why do Starbucks maintain a listing if the equity market is not important to them?
The basic mission of any investor relations group is to engage the broader market and not to simply serve present shareholders and it is definitely not to serve certain shareholders. Read: You are not here to suck Howard's dick on command. Starbucks is a public company and it has a corporate responsibility to all investors who have or who may purchase its common equity. It is recommended that you get up to speed on securities laws and ethical standards for corporate governance if you are not clear on this point.
And finally, I am not getting paid. Why do people who have no case love to start vindictive threads to persecute other posters? And they almost always assert that the "evil doers" are getting paid.
Howard Shultz said in an interview with the L.A. Times published on May 31, 2008:
When we went public in 1992 with under 25 stores, the more stores we opened the more successful we became. Many of our stores got so busy that we started opening up stores nearby. It wasn't through any research or analysis or any scientific model. We just thought the market would support more stores in an area, and as a result of that we began to open up more stores.
In case there is anyone who thinks that the pre-1996 filings are irrelevant. Not only was Starbucks a different company then with pretty much an ad hoc strategy, it was also the time when Howard Shultz made practically all the decisions. Since Howie is now running the show, that period is important if you want to understand how he is going to handle the present challenge.
My, oh my, the language used sure has been colorful. Does it not amaze you that these people work at Starbucks?
For some reason they really want me to call them. Judging from the abuse they have hurled at me, I would say that these juveniles want the opportunity to aggravate me. Why would a simple request for 10-Ks necessitate a phone call? JoAnn really wants me to call and she is the director of investor relations at Starbucks. There is that hooded chick aluisious81 who tells me that I need to pick up the phone and call because emails get lost. By the way, does the 81 mean that aluisious is born in 1981 and therefore would be 27 this year? If so, would it not be time for her to grow up? Why do they want me to call? Because apparently my emails to JoAnn did not get lost. In fact, she responded quite promptly but mysteriously wants to hear my voice when I keep telling her that all I want are the 10-Ks.
Most of you have probably figured it out by now that it is not about the 10-Ks anymore. For a company that claims to be so perfect and superior, the way Starbucks has behaved is shocking. Never before have I encountered such vulgarity. Most Fortune 500 companies would never stoop to playing such games or using such language. It is a question of pride: both corporate and personal. Even rinky-dink companies that are struggling to make a name for themselves would do their best to project a professional image. After all that is what people in investor relations are paid to do. To engage in such offensive behavior in a public arena is simply unheard of. I am going to find out if this is what Starbucks is about. I am sure that I am not the only one who is interested.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
From: "William Greystoke" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "JoAnn DeGrande" email@example.com
For quite sometime now I have been trying to get Starbucks to send me the Company's 1992-1995 10-Ks as they are not available via SEC's EDGAR nor in databases I have access to like OneSource or Bloomberg. The early 1990's was a period of tremendous growth for Starbucks and that is something which needs to be better understood. The most important documents needed to make such an assessment are the 10-Ks for the period.
Since I could not get the 10-Ks by myself, the assistance of Starbucks investor relations was sought. Numerous emails were sent to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting these public filings which for some reason simply went unanswered. Weeks after the first email was sent, when the reply from Starbucks finally came, I was directed to obtain the filings from the SEC's Office of Public Reference. This is the first time I have been directed to the SEC when seeking public information from a listed company. For a corporation that purports to define the standards for ethical behavior, Starbucks's rudeness in not replying promptly to a simple and legitimate request followed by your refusal to present public filings is shocking.
I am still interested in receiving the FY 1992-1995 10-Ks from Starbucks and hope that you can forward them to me as soon as possible as this has dragged on long enough. Upon receipt of these documents, as far as I am concerned, the issue is closed. But as Director of Investor Relations, it is incumbent upon you to understand how such a failure to perform could occur.
My reply to JoAnn DeGrande.
Thank you for your email and I apologize for the delay in our response. You can obtain documents from the SEC (www.sec.gov) not available electronically in the SEC's EDGAR database by contacting the SEC at:
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Office of Public Reference
100 F St NE
Washington , DC 20549-0102
Phone: (202) 551-8090
Fax: (202) 777-1027
Please note that you may have to pay a photocopying charge of $0.26 per page, plus postage, for any filing you order.
specialist, Investor Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
Please consider the environment before printing.
Above is the email which I received from Starbucks after weeks of writing to them. Apparently the last email I sent finally got through and did not get lost in the internet black hole. I thought that I might share with my fellow investors the callous disregard which our highly paid and obscenely pampered employees at Starbucks headquarters treat the investing public. They have the documents but simply refuse to send them. Why?
The days go by and, aside from telling me to go to the SEC myself, no word whatsoever from Starbucks. Now I wonder, is it Peter Bocian or Martin Coles who has responsibility for the investor relations function at Starbucks?
Jessa is in luck. I went to my local library to see if I could get the 10-Ks I needed and was delighted to learn that I could access OneSource from the library. But to my dismay, OneSource only has 10-Ks dating from 1996. Since I have exhuasted all the alternatives I have, this thread will just have to keep running.
One of the things that any investor relations department does these days is to monitor and participate in financial message boards like this one. The idea is to influence the market perception of the company and help boost its standing. At other corporations, people at the highest levels are sometimes involved. It is not unknown for instance to find CEOs engaged in rhetorical battles in defense of their companies. Hence, the behavior of these investor relations personnel is almost always kept circumspect and professional. For some unfathomable reason, the investor relations people at Starbucks are unaccountably rude.
There are over 170,000 Starbucks employees worldwide and they are represented as a team to the stock market by a small group of highly privileged people. Starbucks requires these 170,000 associates to smile and treat customers with deference and respect, but inexplicably endorses a culture of arrogance and boorishness with the small but critical group of employees at headquarters. Is there any wonder that Starbucks has floundered in recent years? How do you expect to win in the market when you will not even do the basic minimum to engage it?
They have told me that there are alternative data sources but I do not have access to them and I do need these filings. As a result, I will have to continue this for as long as it takes. If you are a shareholder in Starbucks, you ought to be interested in why Starbucks has taken such a childish and unprofessional attitude towards a genuine investor who simply wishes to gain access to their public filings. It is like Starbucks runs an advertising campaign stating that they spit in the coffee so now come buy from them. What gives?
$.26 per page copy....ouch. Are you going to pay it (sucker)? It would be cheaper just to fly to Seattle and interview the CEO. Better yet, just send me $100 and I'll tell you that SBUX is a great company that grew incredibly in the 90's, reached US market saturation in some areas in the last few years, lately US growth has been waning, but is being replaced by stong Int'l growth. I'll be checking my mailbox for your check.
It must be a money making scam run by the SEC and pushed by Starbuck's. You caught on, and that must be why earnings are down. >>SARCASM INTENDED MAY HAVE BEEN LOST IN TRANSMISSION<<
I'm sure if there was a soft copy easily available, they would have sent it to you or pointed you to it on the Internet. Obviously they don't have it available. It costs $$$ to push paper around, and they don't have staff to do research for you. Get off your butt and go get it yourself. Read my previous posts.
Also, I don't know where you get off making accusations that someone is "highly paid" and "obscenely pampered". What and who are you referring to? Yeah... they probably get Starbuck's coffee in their office (I'm jealous)>>more SARCASM<< . So what?
You keep posting about this and it just makes you look foolish.
For good measure I have sent them another email since apparently it is possible for emails to get lost. And in case that email is lost in the ether, let me state here that my email address is email@example.com. All they would need to do is to email to me the 10-Ks for Starbucks pre-1996 and I am a satisfied customer. For some companies that do not list a contact for investor relations, queries on a message board often illicit the response of the responsible officer who are usually eager to help as this is what they are paid to do. Despite numerous emails to them and appeals on this board, no one at Starbucks has bothered to reply.
Why does Starbucks employ people to take care of investor relations who will not do their job? What does this say about the company?
>> Requesting for public filings is routine and Starbucks should have these stored on their computers. <<
There's no telling what format they were in going back that far. Sometimes it's difficult for people (especially young folks) to think about a time before the Internet and PC's were so main stream. Pre-1996, if you had a computer your operating system was totally different from anything today. Microsoft Word was not the dominant word-processor. Few people or companies had "networks" and if you were networked it more than likely was NOT TCP/IP (the protocol the Internet is based on). There was multiple types and sizes of floppy-disks. If you needed an important document saved it was filed in a hard-copy filing cabinet and periodically boxed up for storage or shredding depending on what the requirements were.
I'm sure the documents you're looking for are out there, but it's not necessarily a simple matter to get to them. The digital age has made a lot of lazy people.
Public filings since EDGAR was implemented in the mid-90's are available and can be found all over the place, including on the SBUX website.
I have just sent another email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requesting for public filings is routine and Starbucks should have these stored on their computers. All it takes is for one of their investor relations associates to email to me the annual reports. And yet there has been absolutely no response. Why will they not do their jobs? An investor relations position at Starbucks is a really sweet and cushy gig. You get paid well, you look good and you never have to do anything that might harm your sense of pride. One would think that people in such privileged positions would at least do the minimum to justify their paycheck. But there has been no reply from Starbucks.
Some of you might be wondering why I am interested in Starbucks' first few years as a public company. The reason is simple – they grew extremely fast in the early 1990s and that is something I would like to understand better.
Why are people getting paid when they will not do their jobs?
<<And dude, there is not a high school brat anywhere who could have written the paragraph above. >>
You overestimate yourself.
My question to you: did you ever actually call Starbucks Investor Relations (206-318-7118) or did you just expect that if you whined on a third party web forum they'd hop to it and send you what you wanted?
Hopefully, they're focusing on improving earnings. That is what will improve the position in the market. I don't really care if they're responding to requests for 15 year old pre-electronic reports.
Here's some direction I saw on a website that may assist you in your search:
"For online access to SEC documents that predate the EDGAR system, try the Company Library on Lexis-Nexis or SEC-ONLINE on Westlaw, which have documents going back to around 1987. Older filings can also be found on microfiche at the SEC public reading room in Washington, DC or at larger reference libraries. The Access Disclosure file on Lexis-Nexis and the Company Index on Westlaw have lists of all SEC filings back to the late 1960s."