Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA ) recently blew the doors off its earnings with an impressive 27% earnings-per-share growth over the prior year. This performance was made even more impressive by contrasting it against the backdrop of weakness among its peer group. Two high-growth upscale quick-eat favorites, Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX ) and Chipotle (NYSE: CMG ) , had their wings clipped when both cautioned against moderated growth going forward.
But Panera has seemed to transcend these factors and has many catalysts for continued growth in the future. Some of Austin's favorite include its addition of catering and drive-throughs and its dynamic menu. Catering is a great way to leverage Panera's existing brand and infrastructure, its dynamic menu forces relevance and also allows it to subtly adjust timing and pricing to better accommodate customers, and the addition of drive-throughs has met management's own difficult threshold for performance and will be a larger presence in the future.
And all of this growth has been achieved as a domestically focused company. Panera could unlock growth for years to come if it ever turns an eye toward real international growth. That could be years away, though, and why wait when you get buy 3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World that already have an impressive international portfolio? Click here to read about these to picks while you still can.