Will Panera Bread Continue to Rise?

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With shares of Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ:PNRA) trading around $163.43, is PNRA an OUTPERFORM, a WAIT AND SEE, or a STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

C = Catalysts for the Stock’s MovementPanera

Panera will release its fourth-quarter fiscal 2012 earnings after the bell on February 5, and like any other company Panera’s stock is sensitive to its quarterly results. No surprises here, so what should we expect?

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On average, analysts are looking for a 22.5 percent growth in earnings to $1.74 per share, and 15.8 percent revenue growth to $574.09 million. Panera has beaten analyst estimates by about 4 percent for each of the last three quarters, which is a tremendously positive sign. Again, no surprises.

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong

As of January 14, Panera’s stock price was 0.99 percent above its 20-day simple moving average, or SMA; 0.85 percent above its 50-day SMA; and 3.94 percent above its 200-day SMA.

Since the beginning of 2013 the stock price has been in an upward trend, rising 2.90 percent this year to date and rising 13.47 percent year over year. What’s more, the stock is up 59.5 percent for the past two years, and 380 percent for the past 5 years. The company has demonstrated tremendous but stable growth for a number of years (also reflected in its earnings, as we’ll see) and the stock price reflects this.

As a benchmark, the S&P 500 has risen 3.12 percent year to date, and 14.09 percent year over year.

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