Panera Bread Company Inc. (PNRA): Today's Featured Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Panera Bread Company ( PNRA) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.3%. By the end of trading, Panera Bread Company rose $8.09 (5%) to $168.43 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Panera Bread Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 386,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $166.21-$172.08 after having opened the day at $169.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $160.34. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: American Learning ( ALRN), up 31.5%, Oxygen Biotherapeutics ( OXBT), up 16.3%, SmartPros ( SPRO), up 13.3%, and Millennial Media ( MM), up 13.1%.
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Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. Panera Bread Company has a market cap of $4.57 billion and is part of the leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.6, below the average leisure industry P/E ratio of 31.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Panera Bread Company a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Panera Bread Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, DHT Holdings ( DHT), down 15.2%, Netflix ( NFLX), down 11.9%, China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), down 11.5%, and Websense ( WBSN), down 11.3%, were all laggards within the services sector with J.C. Penney ( JCP) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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