Panera Bread reports Q1 net earnings of US$42M, compared to year-ago earnings of US$48M; revenue rises 8% to US$605M

ST. LOUIS , April 29, 2014 (press release) – Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ: PNRA)

HIGHLIGHTS

- Q1 2014 Revenue increased 8% to $605 million

- Q1 2014 Company-owned new bakery-cafe AWS of $55,230

- Q1 2014 Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales up 0.1%

- Unfavorable weather impacted Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales by 150 to 200 basis points

- Q2 2014 EPS target of $1.70 to $1.76

- FY 2014 EPS target narrowed to $6.80 to $7.00


Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ: PNRA) today reported net income of $42 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, for fiscal Q1 2014. The fiscal Q1 2014 results compare to net income of $48 million, or $1.64 per diluted share, for fiscal Q1 2013, which included a $2.2 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, benefit from resolution of legal and tax matters.

The Company's fiscal Q1 2014 consolidated statements of comprehensive income and margin analyses are attached to this release as Schedule I. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, certain items included in the Company's consolidated statements of comprehensive income (in thousands, except per share data and percentages):

For the 13 Weeks Ended

Fiscal Q1 2014 Results and Business Review

Comparable Net Bakery-Cafe Sales Growth

In fiscal Q1 2014, Company-owned, franchise-operated, and system-wide comparable net bakery-cafe sales on a calendar basis each increased 0.1% compared to the comparable period in fiscal 2013. The Company estimates severe weather negatively impacted fiscal Q1 2014 Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales results by approximately 150 to 200 basis points. The Company further estimates these fiscal Q1 2014 Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales results were positively impacted by approximately 50 basis points from the shift of the Easter holiday from calendar Q1 2013 to calendar Q2 2014.

Note that on a fiscal basis, Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales increased 0.7%. However, the Company believes that the calendar basis comparison better reflects the performance of the business as it eliminates the impact of the extra week in fiscal 2013 and compares consistent calendar weeks.

The Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales increase of 0.1% in fiscal Q1 2014 was comprised of year-over-year average check growth of 2.9% and transaction decline of 2.8%. After adjusting for weather and the Easter holiday shift, the decline in fiscal Q1 2014 transactions was approximately 1.3% to 1.8%. Average check growth was comprised of retail price increases of approximately 1.7% and positive mix impact of approximately 1.2%. A schedule of comparable net bakery-cafe sales information is attached to this release as Schedule III.

Operating Margin

In fiscal Q1 2014, the Company experienced a decline in operating margin of approximately 250 basis points compared to fiscal Q1 2013. This decline was primarily the result of continued investments related to key initiatives designed to improve the Company's operational capabilities, technical resources, and customer experience, as well as increased marketing expenses and the untoward impact of unusually severe winter weather in fiscal Q1 2014.

New Bakery-Cafe Development and AWS

During fiscal Q1 2014, the Company opened 16 new bakery-cafes and its franchisees opened 11 new bakery-cafes. As a result, there were 1,800 bakery-cafes open system-wide as of April 1, 2014.

Average weekly sales ("AWS") for Company-owned new bakery-cafes in fiscal Q1 2014 were $55,230 compared to $61,912 in the same period of fiscal 2013, which represents the second highest opening AWS in the Company's history for fiscal Q1. AWS for franchise-operated new bakery-cafes in fiscal Q1 2014 was $58,891 compared to $51,543 in the same period of fiscal 2013. AWS for Company-owned new traditional bakery-cafes in fiscal Q1 2014 was $56,737 compared to $64,593 in the same period of fiscal 2013. AWS for Company-owned new non-traditional bakery-cafes in the fiscal Q1 2014 was $35,901 compared to $52,779 in the same period of fiscal 2013. Non-traditional bakery-cafes refers to a range of alternate formats that the Company believes will allow it to more deeply penetrate existing and new territories with a range of different formats.

A schedule of fiscal Q1 2014 AWS is attached to this release as Schedule II.

Use of Capital

During fiscal Q1 2014, the Company repurchased 271,412 shares at an average price of $184.22 per share for an aggregate purchase amount of approximately $50 million. The share repurchases had a nominal impact on the Company's fiscal Q1 2014 earnings per diluted share. The Company has approximately $198 million remaining under its existing $600 million repurchase authorization as of the date of this release.

Fiscal Q2 2014 Outlook

The Company is targeting fiscal Q2 2014 diluted earnings per share of $1.70 to $1.76, which would represent a range of a decrease of 2% to an increase of 1% in fiscal Q2 2014 versus the comparable period in fiscal 2013. The Company is announcing today that Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales growth on a calendar basis in the first 27 days of fiscal Q2 2014 were approximately 0.4%. The Company estimates the shift of the Easter holiday from calendar Q1 2013 to calendar Q2 2014 negatively impacted the comparable sales results for the first 27 days by approximately 150 basis points.

Updated Fiscal Full Year 2014 Outlook

Diluted EPS

The Company is today narrowing its target range for fiscal 2014 earnings per diluted share to $6.80 to $7.00. This range assumes the Company will continue to make investments in key initiatives consistent with its strategic plan throughout fiscal 2014. This range also includes the Company's expectation that it will continue to repurchase shares consistently throughout the year but likely at lower targeted amounts compared to fiscal 2013.

This full year fiscal 2014 diluted earnings per share target range is based on the following key assumptions:

Comparable Net Bakery-Cafe Sales Growth

The range for the Company's fiscal 2014 Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales growth is now narrowed to 2.0% to 3.5%. The Company continues to expect both comparable net bakery-cafe sales growth and transaction growth to strengthen in the second half of fiscal 2014 as a result of the timing and momentum of initiatives that are underway.

Operating Margin

For fiscal 2014, the Company continues to expect operating margin will be down 75 to 125 basis points when compared to fiscal 2013. This target reflects the full year impact of the key initiatives and related investments that are underway.

New Bakery-Cafe Development and AWS

The Company is maintaining its previous target of 115 to 125 system-wide new bakery-cafe openings in fiscal 2014 and its average weekly net sales performance target for new Company-owned bakery-cafes of $41,000 to $43,000 for fiscal 2014.

Concluding Comment

Ron Shaich, Chairman and CEO, commented, "Investors should view Q1 against the backdrop of Panera's comprehensive effort - extending over multiple years - to shape the future of our company. Historically, every five to ten years, Panera has re-staged its business to drive future growth. Each time, these efforts have yielded material and sustained earnings growth. We are intent on doing that yet again. In March, at our Investor Day, we laid out our vision and plans to enhance Panera's competitive position while, at the same time, expand opportunities for growth. We believe that these initiatives have the potential, over the next few years, to create a new inflection point for Panera."

Notes:

The Company will host a conference call that will be broadcast on the Internet at 8:30 A.M. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to discuss the fiscal Q1 2014 results, preliminary comparable net bakery-cafe sales results for the first 27 days of fiscal Q2 2014, and earnings targets and business outlook for fiscal Q2 2014 and full year fiscal 2014. To access the call or view a copy of this release, go to http://www.panerabread.com/investor. Access to the call will be made available for 14 days, and the release will be archived for one year.

The Company includes in this release information on Company-owned, franchise-operated, and system-wide comparable net bakery-cafe sales percentages. Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales percentages are based on net sales from Company-owned bakery-cafes included in base store bakery-cafes. Franchise-operated comparable net bakery-cafe sales percentages are based on net sales from franchised bakery-cafes, as reported by franchisees, that are included in base store bakery-cafes. Acquired Company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes and other restaurant or bakery-cafe concepts are included in the Company's comparable net bakery-cafe sales percentages after it has acquired a 100 percent ownership interest and if such acquisition occurred prior to the first day of the Company's prior fiscal year. Comparable net bakery-cafe sales exclude closed locations.

The Company does not record franchise-operated net bakery-cafe sales as revenues. However, royalty revenues are calculated based on a percentage of franchise-operated net bakery-cafe sales, as reported by franchisees. The Company uses franchise-operated and net system-wide sales information internally in connection with store development decisions, planning, and budgeting analyses. The Company believes franchise-operated and net system-wide sales information is useful in assessing consumer acceptance of its brand; facilitates an understanding of its financial performance and the overall direction and trends of sales and operating income; helps the Company appreciate the effectiveness of its advertising and marketing initiatives which its franchisees also contribute based on a percentage of their net sales; and provides information that is relevant for comparison within the industry.

About Panera Bread Company

Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,800 bakery-cafes as of April 1, 2014 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. Our bakery-cafes are principally located in suburban, strip mall and regional mall locations. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting, and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor, and free internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.

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