Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Panera shares surge on report of possible sale

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) +13.1% AH following a Bloomberg bulletin that privately held JAB Holding is in advanced talks to acquire the chain. But with shares of Panera up 35% so far this year, has its shares come too far, too fast? Goldman Sachs upgraded the shares of PNRA in report on Thursday, January 19 to "Buy" rating.

More than 4.8 million Panera shares changed hands Monday, almost 10 times the 30-day average. Monday's gains have pushed the company's market cap to $6.48 billion, up from about $6 billion even.

Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) traded down 2.58% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $275.35.

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A total of 17 equity analysts have released a research note on the stock. AlphaOne ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. By watching how many shares are trading hands and looking for any changes in that activity, trading opportunities can be spotted along with a deeper understanding of the reliability of other indicators on the stock. The move would indeed make sense, considering JAB's other coffee-centric holdings, which include Peet's Coffee and Tea, Caribou, D.E. Master Blenders 1753, and a large stake in the world's largest coffee company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, among others. The Michigan-based Connable Office has invested 0.09% in Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ:PNRA). Also, there are 1 buy, 0 sell and 0 strong sell ratings, collectively assigning a 1.73 average brokerage recommendation. The firm's 50-day moving average price is $238.94 and its 200 day moving average price is $213.75.

For the fourth quarter ended December 27, Panera reported net income was up 2 percent to $44 million, or $1.92 a share, compare to $43.2 million, or $1.74 a share, in the same period previous year. The Monthly and Yearly performances are 23.4 percent and 33.94 percent respectively. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.88 EPS. If you are viewing this piece on another website, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of United States and worldwide copyright and trademark law. The stock tapped a 52-week high of US$292.42 while the mean 12-month price target for the shares is US$253.64.

The potential sale of Panera would be just the latest in a string of mergers in the quick-service food industry. The Company is a national bakery-cafe concept.

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