The board of directors of Panera Bread Co. has approved a new three year share repurchase program of up to $600 million. The program will replace the existing program, which was scheduled to expire on Nov. 16, and has been terminated by the board in connection with approving the new program.

“We continue to look for opportunities to deploy our capital to drive earnings growth and shareholder returns,” says Bill Moreton, president and co-chief executive officer. “Investing in our core business remains our No. 1 priority, and the board’s willingness to extend and refresh the repurchase program is a vote of confidence on the growth potential of Panera and its ability to continue to generate cash flow and deploy that cash to generate appropriate returns for our shareholders.”