Shares of Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ:PNRA) gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $209.00, but opened at $209.95. Panera Bread shares last traded at $214.69, with a volume of 277,767 shares changing hands.

Several analysts have commented on the company. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Panera Bread in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $250.00 price objective (up from $240.00) on shares of Panera Bread in a report on Wednesday, April 27th. Telsey Advisory Group raised their price objective on Panera Bread from $225.00 to $250.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Panera Bread from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $240.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, May 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Panera Bread in a report on Thursday, April 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, nineteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $222.30.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $212.37 and its 200-day moving average price is $206.84. The firm has a market cap of $5.20 billion and a P/E ratio of 35.61.

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.50 by $0.06. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.41 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $685.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $674.12 million. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Panera Bread Co. will post $6.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP William Henry Jr. Simpson sold 650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $218.74, for a total value of $142,181.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 4,171 shares in the company, valued at approximately $912,364.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman William W. Moreton sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $212.33, for a total value of $318,495.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 14,656 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,111,908.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Marshall Wace LLP boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 102.3% in the fourth quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 13,074 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,546,000 after buying an additional 6,612 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 5,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,049,000 after buying an additional 308 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 129,757 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,276,000 after buying an additional 1,010 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 63.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 36,155 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,043,000 after buying an additional 14,052 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 13.7% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 130,308 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,382,000 after buying an additional 15,708 shares in the last quarter.

Panera Bread Company (Panera) is a food service provider. Panera is a national bakery-cafe concept with approximately 1,970 Company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafe locations in over 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Ontario, Canada. The Company operates through three segments: Company Bakery-Cafe Operations, Franchise Operations, and Fresh Dough and Other Product Operations.

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