Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ:PNRA) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Monday . Approximately 518,261 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 18% from the previous session’s volume of 440,024 shares.The stock last traded at $216.53 and had previously closed at $215.54.

Several analysts have recently commented on PNRA shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Panera Bread from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $237.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Panera Bread in a report on Tuesday, April 26th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Panera Bread in a report on Wednesday, April 27th. Vetr raised Panera Bread from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $228.36 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, May 9th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Panera Bread in a report on Monday, May 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $222.30.

The company has a market cap of $5.23 billion and a P/E ratio of 35.85. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $212.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $207.32.

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.06. The business earned $685.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $674.12 million. The company’s revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.41 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Panera Bread Co. will post $6.68 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Ronald M. Shaich sold 20,006 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $215.09, for a total transaction of $4,303,090.54. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 93,374 shares in the company, valued at $20,083,813.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Ronald M. Shaich sold 2,494 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $215.01, for a total transaction of $536,234.94. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 86,948 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,694,689.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,660,413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $323,414,000 after buying an additional 35,671 shares during the period. 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 valued at $25,382,000 after buying an additional 15,708 shares during the period. 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 valued at $7,043,000 after buying an additional 14,052 shares during the period. 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 valued at $2,546,000 after buying an additional 6,612 shares during the period. Finally, Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Panera Bread by 51.3% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 15,735 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,065,000 after buying an additional 5,338 shares during the period.

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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