Analyst John Glass says CIBC sponsored investor meetings with Panera's management on Dec. 8 and 9. He says his continued confidence in the bread retailer's fourth-quarter earnings per share compels him to raise his 32 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share estimate to 34 cents, and to up the 99 cents 2003 estimate to $1.01.
Glass says with two-thirds of the fourth quarter over, it appears there are no negative surprises that would lead Panera to cut its forward guidance. He's keeping the $1.30 2004 earnings per share estimate. Also, Glass notes comparisons are poised to gradually improve thanks to sales and throughput initiatives.
Other positives include a new franchise agreement in the near term. He's keeping his sector perform rating and $45 price target.