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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Panera Bread Company ( PNRA) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Panera Bread Company fell $3.47 (-2.0%) to $168.53 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 806,708 shares of Panera Bread Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 502,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $167.80-$171.90 after having opened the day at $171.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $172.00. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: Aeropostale ( ARO), down 20.3%, SED International Holdings ( SED), down 14.6%, China Yida ( CNYD), down 13.8% and Pandora Media ( P), down 12.9%.

Panera Bread Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and franchises retail bakery-cafes in the United States and Canada. The company operates three business segments: Bakery-Cafe Operations, Franchise Operations, and Fresh Dough and Other Product Operations. Panera Bread Company has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Panera Bread Company a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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 revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, Net 1 Ueps Technologies ( UEPS), up 47.5%, Genco Shipping & Trading ( GNK), up 18.3%, TOP Ships ( TOPS), up 13.6% and China Jo-Jo Drugstores ( CJJD), up 12.0% , were all gainers within the services sector with Ross Stores ( ROST) being today's featured services sector leader.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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