Update February 4, 2013, last close 163.40, down less than 1% over the past 30 days, but I am still not willing to pick it back up in this price range. I would be too likely to be singing the I bought Apple at 700.00 blues :)
1/6/14 176.07, but they are drifting down a bit, 52 week high is 194.77, all the research I have found online seems to consider Panera fairly valued at this point. They did just open a store in Puyallup off of Meridian at the South Hill Mall, will try to drive over, it has been about six months since I have been a Panera.
12/9/13, last close 166.06, not sure my thesis of 128.40 is correct *grin*, but I am sticking to it.
Update December 6, 2012, last close was 156.91, this is all over the map, it says it has a beta of .89, but in the past two weeks I would guess it is closer to 1.5.
Update December 17, 2012, last close was 160.52
Update December 22, 2012, last close was 158.17
I closed my position in Panera June 25, 2012. It was up over 20% and part of the strategy for that basket (Ts) is to try to make money on equities and then after their one year birthday, sell the equity and buy a bond or CD to protect the gain.
But I am going to put it on the list for fiscal cliff preparation, if it drops enough I would like to pick it up. Now for what it is worth, I am leery of restaurant stocks as an asset class. I made very good money in the run up of Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), but every time I ate at one I had a compelling desire to dissolve the position immediately; such a loud place. I also had the fortune to hold Chipotle (CMG) during its insane run up ( and we are going to DC in a week and I intend to visit their Asian restaurant, Shophouse). But I also held Starbucks (SBUX) from 2002 - 2004 when the stock would not climb over $20.00 yet every time I saw a Starbucks it had a ton of people in it ( like Panera ).
February 4, 2013 We did visit Shophouse and it was good not great and appeals at least at Dupont Circle to an younger college age crowd. I can't see how it could be a game changer.
The last close was 160.50 which is richly valued ( of course I said that about Chipotle and it made it to 400 or so). One definition of a bear market is being off 20% from its highs and that is what I think makes sense as a price target to pick Panera back up. So if it hits 128.40 and the company is still firing on all cylinders, I will plan to pick it back up.