Panera Bread

(PNRA)

said second-quarter earnings jumped 47%, beating analysts' estimate by a penny, and the bakery owner slightly raised its full-year forecast.

Panera earned $5.69 million, or 19 cents a share, in the quarter ended July 12, compared with $3.87 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting 18 cents a share.

Total revenue was $78.6 million, up from $62.3 million last year. The company said systemwide comparable-store sales, excluding closed locations, increased 0.2% for the quarter. Systemwide average weekly sales, also excluding closed locations, totaled $34,919 a week.

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"During the second quarter we have seen some divergence between comparable bakery-cafe sales performance in company bakery-cafes and franchise bakery-cafes," the company said in a press release. Panera said that trend could continue during the third and fourth quarters, leading the company to now expect systemwide comp sales growth of 1.5% to 2% for the rest of the year.

However, the company raised its 2003 earnings target to $1.01 a share from $1 a share, an increase of 38% over 2002. Analysts expect $1 a share.

Panera projected quarterly earnings in 2004 of 32 cents, 25 cents, 30 cents and 44 cents for the first, second, third and fourth quarters, respectively. Analysts expect 33 cents a share in the first quarter, 25 cents a share in the second, 31 cents a share in the third and 43 cents a share in the fourth.

The company forecast full-year 2004 earnings of $1.31, matching analysts' estimates. Panera assumes it will open 140 new bakery-cafes and have systemwide comparable-store sales growth of 3% next year.

Shares of Panera were rising $1.11, or 2.8%, to $40.44.