Panera Shares Upgraded To Buy At Jefferies On Growing Same-store Sales

Panera Bread Co. was upgraded to buy from hold at Jefferies on the belief that the fast-casual chain's same-store sales will grow over the next few years, pushing up earnings. Jeffries raised the price target to $245 from $195. Jeffries is expecting first quarter same-store sales in line with consensus, with improved traffic trends. The bank's analysts see those trends extending through the next few years with drivers including the company's digital initiatives, catering and delivery service. Panera reports first-quarter earnings on April 26. Shares are up 1.7% in premarket trading, and 8.5% for the year to date. The S&P 500 is up 2.5% for the year so far.

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