Panera Bread's Stock Set To Fall After Analyst Downgrade

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Panera Bread Co. were indicated down more than 1% in premarket trade Monday, after the fast casual restaurant chain was downgraded at Wedbush Securities, which cited concerns over valuation. Analyst Nick Setyan cut his rating to neutral, after being at outperform since March 2014. The stock had rocketed 15% since the election to close Friday at $217.16, or just 1.3% below Seytan's price target of $220. "We continue to believe drivers of sustained [same-store sales] growth outperformance relative to peers exist," Seytan wrote in a note to clients. "Nevertheless, we caution against the street's current optimism relative to our 2017 estimates." He said unless there are further upward revisions to same-store sales and earnings per share, upside in the stock could prove limited. Seytan forecasts fiscal 2016 EPS of $6.71, matching the FactSet consensus, while his 2017 estimate of $7.45 is below the FctSet consensus of $7.69. The stock has rallied 11% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.3%.

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