For a long time, I've found Panera
Panera's third-quarter net income increased 38%, to $19 million, or $0.61 per share. Revenue increased 6%, to $335 million, and company-owned same-restaurant sales increased by 3.3%.
Some of Panera's sales success was due to price hikes on its menu; although the average check increased by 1.5%, Panera boosted menu prices by 2.2%. I've often complained that Panera has used higher prices to pump up its fortunes, instead of generating real traffic growth. But this quarter, the chain was able to achieve 1.8% more transactions year over year.
I'm also impressed that Panera was able to increase same-store sales growth and customer traffic in the third quarter; last quarter, those figures still left something to be desired. Panera also released guidance for next year, projecting a 14%-18% increase in earnings per share.
Perhaps the bakery cafe can do just fine in the current environment. I wouldn't be surprised if reasonably priced, high-quality restaurants such as Panera and Chipotle
I'm still a bit leery of the stock, and consumers remain skittish in general. Personally, a stock like McDonald's