Starbucks could potentially have 50,000 retail locations by the end of 2017, which is more than any other current chain, according to Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski. On Tuesday, he named the coffee giant as his top restaurant stock for the new year, estimating that Starbucks will increase its restaurant count by 8.4 percent around the world.
“It is only a matter of time before Starbucks overtakes McDonald’s as the largest market cap restaurant stock, although likely not in 2017,” said Kalinowski. “Well beyond 2021, we would not be surprised to see Starbucks exceed the 50,000-store level.”
Kalinowski also says that there’s less competition in the beverage retailer space, making it easier for Starbucks to have an edge against restaurants like McDonald’s. Since his statement on Tuesday, Starbucks shares rose 0.1 percent to $55.56 as of 10:09 a.m. EST.