All eyes on Panera Bread

|By:, SA News Editor

All eyes in the restaurant industry are on Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA) to see if anything develops from the report of a bid for the company. The list of guesses on potential acquirers now includes Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and JAB Holdings.

BTIG estimates that a potential sale of the restaurant chain could go off in a range of $280 to $295.

Credit Suisse tops that by estimating a Panera sale in a range of $300 to $310.

Baird is playing it safe, downgrading Panera after the big runup to Neutral.

Bernstein analyst Sara Senatore is also weighing in. "We think a private strategic acquirer like JAB is more likely as a strategy to consolidate a category with emphasis on cost/synergies makes more sense than either a bolt on acquisition (for tech.) or a classic 'refranchise and leverage' approach given PNRA's high AUVs and growth multiple," she writes.

Previously: Panera Bread soars on sale talk (April 3)

Previously: Starbucks said to be interested in Panera (April 3)

Previously: JAB Holdings viewed as potential Panera pursuer (April 3)

Shares of Panera are down 0.58% to $281.00.