Panera Bread in advanced sale talks with JAB Holdings

The sign on the hood of a delivery truck for Panera Bread Co. is seen in Westminster

The sign on the hood of a delivery truck for Panera Bread Co. is seen in Westminster Colorado

Credit Agricole S A raised its stake in shares of Panera Bread by 10.9% in the fourth quarter. Since January, the stock has risen almost 38 percent.

The stock increased 7.93% or $20.76 during the last trading session, reaching $282.63. Thus the company showed an Earnings Surprise of 2.5 Percent. The stock is now 19.36% away from its 50-day simple moving average and 29.55% away from the 200 day average. Panera Bread Co has a 52 week low of $185.69 and a 52 week high of $262.40. The company's current market capitalization is $6.48 billion, according to FactSet. Maxim Group Maintains Panera Bread Company (PNRA) to Buy with a price target of $250. The company reported $2.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $2.00 by $0.05.

Panera Bread Company (PNRA) is now showing its ROA (Return on Assets) of 11.3%. "JAB has completed five deals in the last six years, focusing on emerging, differentiated franchise concepts that skew towards cafes and consumer packaged goods".

If you look at the company's income statement over the past years, you will see that the company is constantly posting gross profit: In 2014, PNRA earned gross profit of 1.71 Billion, in 2015 1.81 Billion gross profit, while in 2016 Panera Bread Company (PNRA) produced 1.91 Billion profit. If you are viewing this story on another publication, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of USA & global copyright legislation. The legal version of this piece can be accessed at Recently, analysts have updated the overall rating to 2.8. The stock's average target of $11.80 is -16.90% below today's ($14.2) share price. Longbow Research lowered Panera Bread from a "buy" rating to a "neutral" rating in a research note on Thursday, February 9th.

Yesterday, shares of Panera Bread (PNRA) soared on reports that it's considering selling itself, with Dunkin' Brands (DNKN) and Domino's Pizza (DPZ) mentioned as potential acquirers.

Several analysts have released their opinion on Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ:PNRA), with 12 analysts believing it is a strong buy. TheStreet upgraded the stock to "Buy" rating in Tuesday, August 18 report. In a transaction dated December 02, 2016, the shares were put up for sale at an average price of $213.55, raking in a sum of $95,884.

The potential sale of Panera would be just the latest in a string of mergers in the quick-service food industry.

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