NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- PaneraBread's (PNRA) price target was raised to $185 from $180 by analysts at Deutsche Bank Markets Research.

The firm maintained its "hold" rating on the stock.

"Panera management continues to work diligently to right the ship through improved food, marketing and operational enhancements," analysts stated.

While its strategic, financial and operational efforts are commendable, analysts would like to see sales and earnings increase before they recommend the company's shares, according to the firm's note.

Earnings per share estimates for 2015 and 2016, however, were lowered to $6.10 from $6.15, and to $6.50 from $6.70, respectively.

In Thursday's early morning trading session shares are falling 0.66% to $200.94.

Panera Bread owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the U.S. and Canada. The company operates through three segments: Bakery-Cafe Operations, Franchise Operations, and Fresh Dough and Other Product Operations.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PANERA BREAD CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PANERA BREAD CO (PNRA) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, PNRA's share price has jumped by 27.84%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PNRA should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $72.02 million or 11.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PANERA BREAD CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -72.82%.
  • PNRA's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.13 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.76 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PNRA Ratings Report