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At Panera, investors are tasting success

Panera has been fueling its recent growth with new products, a rebound in catering, and price increases, Dow Jones reported.

Panera Bread Co. reported first-quarter earnings of $1.40 a share, beating the $1.34 projected by analysts, on average. Profit was up 26 percent, and the bakery-cafe chain’s same-store sales rose 6.3 percent. Panera raised its full-year earnings guidance by 8 cents from its February view and is now forecasting $5.58 to $5.63 a share. Panera’s operating margin widened to 13.5 percent from 12.6 percent.

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