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PNRA: Panera Stock Sinks After Downgrade, Failure to Give 2015 Outlook

The company says next year could see "choppy earnings growth"


PNRAPanera Bread (PNRA) dropped more than 6% on Wednesday after the company opted not to issue earnings guidance for next year and an investment firm cut its rating for PNRA stock.

PNRA stock fell as Wunderlich downgraded Panera from a “Buy” rating to “Hold.” Wunderlich cited earnings worries for the ratings cut, TheStreet noted.

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The PNRA downgraded came after Panera management said it would not release a profit estimate for 2015. On Tuesday, Panera issued a statement indicating that the introduction of new initiatives meant to boost its competition in a “more digital and omni-channel marketplace” might cause “choppy earnings growth in the near and medium term.” Given those conditions Panera said it would not issue earnings guidance “beyond fiscal 2014,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes.

PNRA did reiterate a profit outlook of between $1.49 and $1.55 per share for the fiscal first quarter of 2014. It also expects full-year 2014 earnings of between $6.80 and $7.05 per share.

Panera stock closed at $185.82 per share on Tuesday. Over the past 12 months, PNRA stock has gained about 12%.

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