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Bernstein Says Panera Bread Confident In 2.0 Initiative, Unsure Of Timing Of Benefits

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Bernstein Says Panera Bread Confident In 2.0 Initiative, Unsure Of Timing Of Benefits
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In a report published Monday, analysts from Bernstein commented on a recent meeting with Panera Bread Co's (NASDAQ: PNRA) Chief Executive Officer Ron Shaich, SVP of Planning Mike Bufano and VP Investor Relations, Steve West.

The analysts concluded that quarter-to-date comps reflect lower marketing spend and weather-related issues remained a "headwind" but underlying trends seem "stable." The analysts added that new products and advertising should build traffic through 2015.

Panera Bread's management team remains confident in its "2.0" initiative but "the timing of benefits is likely to vary."

"We – and the company – view the stock as a relatively low risk bet given valuation," the analysts wrote. "Consistent with the decision to refranchise, we detected more of a focus on valuation than we've previously heard from Panera Bread's management."

Shares are Outperform rated with a $190 price target.

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