Panera Bread's Q2 earnings rose 34% to US$35.7M as revenue climbed 19% to US$451.1M; 4.4% revenue rise for stores open at least a year failed to meet company's 5%-6% target

ST. LOUIS, Missouri , July 27, 2011 () – Panera Bread Co. reported that its second-quarter net income rose 34 percent, though a key revenue comparison fell short, sending the restaurant's shares down in after-hours trading.

Panera, among the stronger performers in the restaurant industry, said Tuesday that it earned $35.7 million, or $1.18 per share. That's just a penny over analyst estimates of $1.17 per share, and the company typically beats expectations by much more. The company earned $26.7 million, or 85 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Total revenue rose 19 percent to $451.1 million. Analysts expected $449.2 million, according to FactSet.

But revenue from company-owned stores open at least a year rose only 4.4 percent, less than Panera's own target of a 5 percent to 6 percent increase. This comparison is a key measure of a company's financial health because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed. For franchise-operated bakery-cafes, the figure rose 3.6 percent.

Panera, based in St. Louis, raised its full-year forecast and now expects to earn $4.54 to $4.58 per share, up from $4.47 to $4.51 per share. Analysts, on average, are expecting $4.55 per share.

Panera's shares fell $5.29, or 4.1 percent, to $123.99 after hours. They ended regular trading up 14 cents and $129.28.

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