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Panera Bread's Recipe for Success

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 | 6:38 PM ET
Panera CEO Speaks Out
Ron Shaich, co-founder and executive chairman of Panera Bread, gives Mad Money host Jim Cramer insight on the business.

One of the great growth stocks of this era, Cramer said Wednesday, is Panera Bread . After all, the bakery-café chain operator is the perfect example of a company that's constantly underestimated. The analysts, who cover the stock can't figure out what brings the company its success.

To Cramer, however, it's simple. Everyday, Panera's bakery-cafés prove that causual dining can also be high-quality dining. It's the same recipe for success that's caused Chipotle Mexican Grill's stock to soar. Panera's business continues to improve and the company projects earnings per share growth thanks to increased traffic and an improved product mix. It's grain purchases were also well-timed, helping keep the company's costs low.

Panera's stock has posted a 152 percent gain since Cramer first got behind it in July 2008. Even so, he doesn't think home gamers have missed the move. PNRA sells for 23 times next year's earnings with an 18 percent growth rate, which Cramer said is cheap compared to Chipotle. It trades at 33 times earnigns with a 20 percent growth rate.

To learn more about Panera's future prospects, Cramer chatted with CEO Ronald Shaich. Check out the video to see the complete conversation.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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