Panera Bread is under pressure following earnings, beating on the bottom line, coming in line on the top, guiding down Q4 and not providing guidance for 2015. Stephanie Link, Co-Portfolio Manager of Action Alerts Plus, tells TheStreet’s Options Profits, Jill Malandrino, she is adding to the Action Alerts Plus position because a lot of the bad news is priced in and Panera is a longer-term 2015 story. She explains the stock is down because the market place wanted some color looking forward, but the key here is the restructuring story. The latest quarter showed trends are showing encouraging signs with same-store-sales and check sizes were larger than expected, so Link believes this is just the beginning of the restructuring efforts. Lower gas prices will improve consumer spend which adds to the top line and costs should be lower in 2015. In addition, Panera has been spending to improve the customer experience and getting more digital. Link says Panera doesn’t have a “health food” problem like McDonald’s or Wendy’s and that is what makes the company unique to the sector.
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