Very impressive picture and description. Go to Locations and type e.g., Connecticut and there's a link to Crispani being available at each listed location. Seems that this has progressed beyond testing and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see an announcement of a national roll out before long. If the pizzas are as good as the anecdotal evidence, there is every potential for a very significant SSS increase as pizzas typically get bought with beverages and sometimes salads. Not only are margins very good on pizza, but as incremental business there would be minimal additional occupancy costs(some is tied in a small way to a % of sales), and labor and other operating expenses should be very low as a % of additional sales.
The "rollouts" of new products we have become used to at Panera are of the "rolling" type. They are introduced by one franchisee and then another, and in one section of the country by company owned stores then in another. Not like a new model of automobile. It's better for many reasons to do it that way. This management does not miss a single thing. It's clear that you are doing more investigation than the wall streeters are....oh well.
My understanding is somewhat different than yours. When asked about the pizzas on the conference call, Ron said that no decision had been made but that he would let us know if and when one was. That leads me to believe that if the test in several markets is successful, there will be a decision and announcement of a national rollout. It won't just keep slowly spreading to new markets without anything being said. A somewhat similar thing occurred with Jones Soda (a stock I bought when the Panera deal was announced 3 years ago and continue to own and like). Initially Panera tested Jones in 60 stores. It then decided to make Jones the exclusive bottled soda in all current and future stores. I would expect a similar decision to be made and announced for crispani. If it's a go, all stores would probably be selling crispani in no more than 2 or 3 months after the decision is made.
I think you are very right, most of the time! It's that "sometimes or the once in awhile" that gets you. PNRA didn't react well after the last split for some time BUT this is a different company now. Who really knows for sure, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't! You just have to do what you think is right with the information you have and don't look back.
Very interesting indeed. imo the need for US businesses to diversify their income streams by currency has never been greater. Many reasons. The foremat, going forward into 2008, will be able, when completely installed in each unit, to (a)fully utilize their wonderful ovens for the first time (b) have revenue from three solidly attended meals daily, (c) know their Via Panera and Drive-thru activities well enough to have them incorporated into the daily routine of business at each store without disturbing service levels to the core walk in patrons. This is no small feat. (d) Have raised the Nations'level of awareness as to who and what Panera is and is about....So the Branding through specific alternative channels of distribution can begin...AND, it will be time to launch, with exceptional partners, Internationale....that's my opinion anyway...2008 forward...Perhaps even sooner if the perfect opportunity presents itself....
Last will come a fee from the Landlords payable to Panera for: higher than previously experienced vehicle populations at the Shopping Center in general prior to Panera's opening in that Center...just kidding. Panera truly -is- of significant financial benefit to the Centers they are in.....
Here's my two cents...the folks on CNBC say that stock splits are non-events for the shareholders. Over the years, the stocks I've been in that did split and those that I just watched have had a nasty habbit of falling below the split price. My company has yet to get above its split price and that was a year ago. What I see is ususally a run up in price to the split date...then it falls post-split. My advise is sell the day before, let it fall and buy back in post-split; you get more shares than if you stayed in it and let it split.
I've never placed a stop-loss order, either.
I avoid placing GTC orders, too. If put options are available, and transaction costs are low, one might as well write naked out-of-the-money put options instead.
I don't think that I ever placed a stop-loss order. Unless the reason for buying the stock has changed, a decline due to technical, momentum or general market conditions is, if anything, a reason to buy, not sell. That is not to say that one shouldn't sell a stock when it becomes clear that it was a mistake to buy it. But formulaic 5% or 8% declines mandating a sell is not my thing.
As far as International, I have no doubt that Panera will do it. But whether to do it sooner or later is arguable. So long as there is plenty of domestic growth available, which there clearly is for the next few years at least, unless a particularly attractive proposal from a possible partner was brought to Panera, they could validly decide to defer International until they need it for growth. Interestingly, one of the bright spots for the old Au Bon Pain was franchised stores in Latin America and the U.K. and they actually had a respected VP for International Operations (his name escapes me). I remember Ron explaining that a former Au Bon Pain customer and big fan had moved to Brazil and her family met with Ron and convinced him to let them become a franchisee in Latin America. If I'm remembering correctly, Au Bon Pain only had company-owned stores in the U.S. so the agreement was unusual to say the least.
I have a question for all you friendly posters on this board: If PNR should split (which is likely some day soon) would you BUY MORE -SELL SOME - SELL ALL- or do neither? I would love to hear from some of you. (I am busy digging out from two feet of snow)....
<<Fortunately, I never believed in stop-loss orders>
Still don't...? BTW; your views on Internationale ? This would give R.S. a form of divdersification of his incomce stream, which is now exclusively in USD. I think, for this reason alone, he should get this underway with outstanding partners. Of course the basic foremat is in a remarkable state of change just now what with the evolving drivers we have isolated upon and discussed individually that he could get far more for his End if he lets it just internally become a richer, fuller delivery system on a single store basis for another year or so in the States. What say you.??
For investors, a split is a non-event. For traders, there would likely be a pop on the announcement which would largely go away within a few weeeks. Of course, other events could offset or more than offset such expected effect of a split.
Ron's confidence is not surprising given how far Panera has come. While most investors focus on the terrific food and ambience of the Panera concept, Ron's real genius was in extricating himself from a struggling Au Bon Pain business and transforming the company into a huge growth vehicle. I was there in the mid 90s, initially losing 50%+ of my investment, going to the SH meeting in Boston (there were no conference calls on the internet those days) to listen to a very sober Ron explaining how he was going to turn it around and believing that he would. Fortunately, I never believed in stop-loss orders.
For me awareness, branding and marketing are potential positives but neither the source of Ron's confidence nor essential for Panera's continued success. I see them as bonuses to what is and will be very successful already.
We had 23" in Central Park but somehow it doesn't seem that bad.