The Ratings Game: Panera’s outlook is too ‘aggressive’ for some analysts to believe

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Some analysts think Panera is too ambitious, while others believe the company is in a position to meet high expectations.

Panera Bread Co. posted solid fourth-quarter results, but some analysts think the fast-casual chain might be a little too optimistic about what it will achieve in the months to come.

“Panera continues to sustain impressive comp outperformance (over 500 basis points) due to the combined benefit of its 2.0 and omnichannel strategy… and on-trend menu innovation led by its ‘Food as it Should Be’ campaign,” said Raymond James in a Thursday note. “That said, we believe bull case margin and earnings per share growth expectations into 2018 could be a bit aggressive.

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