Panera Bread Co. launched a new $600 million share repurchase program that replaces the existing program set to expire in August of 2015. The repurchases will take place periodically on the open market or in privately negotiated deals.
Chairman and CEO Ron Shaich says the move is a vote of confidence for the long-term success of the company. The $3.4 billion company reported a first quarter net income of $42.4 million, down 12 percent from the first quarter of 2013. Panera’s reported revenue is up 8 percent from the prior year, at $605.3 million.