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Panera Outlook Saddens Investors

Panera Bread sees its first-quarter profit nearly double, but its outlook falls short of forecasts.



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Panera Bread


saw its first-quarter profit nearly double, but its second-quarter outlook missed estimates, sending shares down in after-hours trading.

During the quarter, the restaurant chain earned $25.8 million, or 83 cents a share, compared with $17.4 million, or 57 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected a profit of 82 cents a share for Panera Bread.

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Panera Bread revenue climbed 13.5% to $364.2 million, while comparable sales of company-owned bakery-cafes jumped 10%.

Panera is looking for 25% to 28% growth in profit in the second quarter, forecasting earnings between 81 cents and 83 cents a share. This compares with a profit of 65 cents a share in the second quarter last year.

Still, this outlook falls short of Wall Street's forecast of 84 cents a share. As a result, shares are tumbling 3.5% to $83.20 in extended trading.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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