Panera Bread Upgraded to Buy by Wunderlich (PNRA)

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) was upgraded by Wunderlich from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, StockRatingsNetwork.com reports. The firm currently has a $212.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $200.00. Wunderlich’s price target suggests a potential upside of 22.50% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “We are upgrading Panera Bread (PNRA) to Buy from Hold reflecting our confidence in management’s plan to strengthen its sales and operating trends, while investing to yield even better trends in years to come. With PNRA shares having pulled back following its weaker-than-projected Q213 results, we believe the share’s current valuation better discounts the risk of ownership than at previous levels. While the next several quarters’ EPS growth is projected to be below the company’s 15%-20% targeted rate and its 27% average historical rate of the past five years, we project that by H214, revenue and EPS growth will ascend back toward more historical growth rates. As that occurs and factoring a 23x P/E to our 2015 EPS, we project a 12-18 month price target of $212, up from $200.”

Shares of Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) opened at 173.06 on Thursday. Panera Bread has a one year low of $152.26 and a one year high of $194.77. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $181.0. The company has a market cap of $5.034 billion and a P/E ratio of 27.17.

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The company reported $1.74 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $589.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $596.01 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.50 earnings per share. Panera Bread’s revenue was up 11.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Panera Bread will post $6.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Panera Bread in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have a $180.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Wedbush cut their price target on shares of Panera Bread from $210.00 to $190.00 in a research note to investors on Thursday, July 25th. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Susquehanna cut their price target on shares of Panera Bread from $183.00 to $180.00 in a research note to investors on Thursday, July 25th. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock.

One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $194.60.

In other Panera Bread news, CFO Roger Christian Jr. Matthews bought 1,500 shares of the company’s stock on the open market in a transaction dated Friday, July 26th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $168.58 per share, for a total transaction of $252,870.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ:PNRA) s a national bakery-cafe concept with 1,541 Company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafe locations in42 states, the District of Columbia, and Ontario, Canada.



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