Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) closed the regular trading session on Tuesday down 0.20 percent at $162.44 per share, and fell about 3 percent further in post-market trading after reporting underwhelming third-quarter financial results. Total revenue increased 8 percent on the year to $572.48 million, falling short of the mean analyst estimate of $584.19 million. Adjusted earnings increased 19 percent on the year to $1.48 per diluted share, beating the mean analyst estimate of $1.35 per share. However, earnings were inflated by a favorable tax readjustment of $3.8 million, or 13 cents per share.
System-wide comparable sales increased 1.3 percent on the year while operating margins remained flat. Panera corporate opened 17 new bakery-cafes, while franchises opened 15 new locations. All told, Panera ended the quarter with 1,736 locations. Total average weekly sales for the third quarter were $45,205, down from $47,438 in the year-ago period.
Looking ahead, Panera is expecting fourth-quarter earnings in a range between $1.91 and $1.97 per share (up 9 to 13 percent on the year), below the current mean analyst estimate of $2.08 per share. Full-year 2013 earnings are expected to be in a range between $6.77 and $6.83 per share (up 15 to 16 percent on the year), which includes the current mean analyst estimate of $6.81 per share.