The company has been in contact with shareholder Luxor Capital Group LP to increase its share-purchase plan to $750 million, surpassing its previous plan of $600 million.
Panera also plans to sell some of its outlets to fund the share-buyback program. About 73 locations will be sold to other franchises.
Panera will acquire $500 million of shares within the next 12 months.
PNRA stock is up about 10.5% Thursday. Shares are selling for $181.69.