What was the cost of one Starbucks share in 1992 versus now?

Mafalda Costa October 5, 2021
Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fifty years ago, Starbucks opened its first store near the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle. As of 2021, Starbucks has a presence in dozens of countries around the globe and operates more than 32,000 stores. On the company’s 50th anniversary, here’s how much the cost of one Starbucks share was when its IPO launched in 1992 and how rich you’d be now if you had invested.

Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Starbucks history explored

Starbucks was founded by Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl, who opened its first store in 1971 near the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle.

According to Britannica, the Starbucks founders had two things in common: they were all coming from academia, and they all loved coffee and tea.

The founders borrowed money to open the first store in Seattle and named it “Starbucks” after first mate Starbuck in Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick.

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In 1982, Howard Schultz, a sales rep for Hammarplast, a Swedish company that made kitchen equipment and from which Starbucks bought its drip-coffee makers, became head of marketing at the coffee company.

Two years later, Schultz convinced the Starbucks founders to test a coffee house concept in downtown Seattle, where the first Starbucks Latte was served.

In March 1987, Schultz bought the company for a reported £3.8 million. Under his guidance, the chain grew from fewer than 20 stores to more than 100 in four years.

As of 2021, Starbucks has a presence in dozens of countries around the globe and operates more than 32,000 stores.

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What was the cost of one Starbucks share in 1992?

According to Food News, when Starbucks went public 25 years ago it was still a relatively small company.

In 1992, Starbucks made less than $93 million in annual sales and generated just $4.1 million in profits.

Starbucks went public in June 1992 at a share price of $17. As per Food News, if you invested, say, $10,000, you could have bought about 588 shares.

Since then, your initial 588 shares would have grown to become 37,632 shares after many rounds of splits.

With the recent share price of about $114, the market value of your Starbucks stake would be worth roughly $4.29 million as your investment would have grown by a factor of almost 430.

That total doesn’t even account for the quarterly dividends the company has paid out during that time. 

Ever get the feeling you missed out?!

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Coffee-lovers take to Twitter

Here’s what coffee-lovers had to say on the company’s 50th anniversary:

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Mafalda Costa is a second year BA Journalism student originally from Portugal. Her main passions if life are music, arts and culture, while she's particularly knowledgable on cinema and anime.