Texas Roadhouse also said comps in the first four weeks of the current quarter grew 3.5% year-over-year. It forecast 2010 diluted earnings per share growth to be around 20% higher than in 2009, at the high-end of its previously announced outlook for growth in the 16% to 20% range.
The revised estimate was based on guidance for comps growth of 2% and 14 new restaurant openings in the year.
Panera Bread shares gained to a new annual high of $99.14, before closing the session at $98.06.
Panera posted third-quarter earnings of $23 million
, or 75 cents per share, in line with expectations, but top-line sales of $372 million came in just shy of analysts' consensus call. Quarterly profits jumped 21.1% year-over-year.
Still, the sandwich and salad purveyor was optimistic. Panera raised its earnings guidance for the current quarter, saying it now expects to earn between $1.15 and $1.17 per share in the fourth quarter. That's as much as a nickel past Wall Street's expectations for fourth-quarter earnings of $1.13 per share.
"We're coming right through this recession as strong as ever," Executive Chairman Ronald M. Shaich told
Panera reported that system-wide comps grew 6.9% in the recent quarter, including a 5.5% increase at company-owned stores and a 7.9% increase at franchise-operated locations.
For fiscal 2011 Panera expects sales to grow between 4% and 6%, partly due to "modest price increases of approximately 1.5% during fiscal 2011 to cover inflation."
"We remain encouraged by the company's SSS trends and believe the increasing operating margins and solid growth pipeline remain all the more impressive," noted Piper Jaffray.