Panera Bread trims profit forecast as snowstorms hit sales

Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:18pm EDT

(Reuters) - Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O) reported a lower quarterly profit on Tuesday and trimmed its 2014 sales and profit forecasts after severe winter storms in large swathes of the United States prevented customers from visiting its cafes.

Shares fell 4.4 percent to $155.99 in after-hours trading.

Sales at Panera's company-owned bakery cafes open at least 18 months inched up 0.1 percent in the first quarter. The company said the harsh winter dented that figure by 1.5 to 2 percentage points.

Net income fell 12 percent to $42.4 million, or $1.55 a share, from $48.1 million, or $1.64 a share, a year earlier.

Panera lowered the upper end of its 2014 profit target and now expects to earn between $6.80 and $7 a share, down from an earlier range of $6.80 to $7.05.

The company now expects same-restaurant sales to be up between 2 and 3.5 percent this year, compared with its earlier forecast of a rise of 2 and 4 percent.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by Peter Galloway)

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