Each of these stocks received buy ratings from TheStreet Ratings.
Panera Bread is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 7. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.42 a share on revenue of $499.05 million."We expect to see EPS come in at the upper end of guidance as solid SSS trends in the 6% range and a recent 1% menu price increase (Sept) help drive leverage on fixed and semi-fixed costs, offsetting higher food cost inflation (5% vs. 4.5% in 3Q), unfavorable G&A timing shifts (hiring & program spend) and less favorability from recent labor structural efficiencies. For 4Q 2011, the company expects EPS of $1.39-1.41 (+15-17%), based on same-store sales of 5.5-6.5% and 50-100bps of operating profit margin contraction," Jefferies analysts wrote in a report Thursday. "Our 4Q EPS estimate is $1.41 (in line with consensus) based on 6% SSS at company-owned stores and 60-70bps of operating margin contraction." Shares of Panera hit a 52-week high Friday of $155.67. The stock's 52-week low of $96.98 was set on Aug. 8. Panera shares trade at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 28X; the average for restaurants and bars is 19.3X. Darden (DRI) has a forward P/E of 12.03X; The Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) has a forward P/E of 16.83X. Thirteen of the 23 analysts who cover the company rated it a buy; 10 considered it a hold. TheStreet Ratings gives an A grade and a has a $190.94 price target on the shares. The stock has risen 10.05% year to date.
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