Panera Bread Co (PNRA) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Panera shares have outpaced the Zacks classified Retail-Restaurants industry in the past year. The company recently signed a deal to be acquired by JAB Holdings. Meanwhile, its Panera 2.0 program as well as innovation in food, operations, design and marketing has started yielding results. Focus on channels like catering and delivery, along with its Panera at Home business should drive incremental revenues at the company. Removal of all artificial ingredients from its food items should further attract health-conscious consumers. Panera is confident that its efforts will translate into strong comps and sustainable double-digit EPS growth 2017 onwards. Estimates have moved slightly up ahead of its Q1 earnings release and Panera has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Yet, high costs are expected to hurt margins while a soft consumer spending environment in the U.S. restaurant space might limit revenue growth.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on PNRA. Telsey Advisory Group lifted their price objective on shares of Panera Bread from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, February 10th. Robert W. Baird reissued an outperform rating on shares of Panera Bread in a research note on Thursday, February 16th. Maxim Group reissued a hold rating and issued a $315.00 price objective on shares of Panera Bread in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. William Blair cut shares of Panera Bread from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 5th. Finally, Vetr cut shares of Panera Bread from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $214.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Panera Bread presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $271.87.

Analyst Recommendations for Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA)

Shares of Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) traded down 0.116% during trading on Thursday, reaching $314.035. The company had a trading volume of 333,987 shares. The company has a market cap of $7.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 50.815 and a beta of 0.31. Panera Bread has a 12 month low of $185.69 and a 12 month high of $316.21. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $266.21 and a 200 day moving average price of $223.55.

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 7th. The company reported $2.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.00 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $727.11 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $727.75 million. Panera Bread had a net margin of 5.21% and a return on equity of 42.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.88 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Panera Bread will post $7.73 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its position in Panera Bread by 6.4% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 65,952 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,271,000 after buying an additional 3,958 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its position in shares of Panera Bread by 5.1% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 32,819 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,594,000 after buying an additional 1,587 shares in the last quarter. Huntington National Bank raised its position in shares of Panera Bread by 34.8% in the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 3,430 shares of the company’s stock valued at $898,000 after buying an additional 885 shares in the last quarter. Howland Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Panera Bread during the first quarter valued at $262,000. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its position in shares of Panera Bread by 4.3% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 2,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $737,000 after buying an additional 116 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.32% of the company’s stock.

About Panera Bread

Panera Bread Company is a food service company. The Company is a national bakery-cafe concept. As of December 27, 2016, the Company operated 2,036 own and franchise-operated bakery-cafe locations in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Ontario, Canada. It operates through three segments: Company bakery-cafe operations, franchise operations, and fresh dough and other product operations.

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