Bloomberg reported that PNRA’s CEO Ron Shaich said in a phone interview today that 2008 comparable store sales growth was “north of 3 percent.” Based on the company’s prior 3 quarters of company-owned same-store sales growth of 3.3%, 6.5% and 3.0%, respectively, this would imply that 4Q same-store sales were down about 1% to get to 3% for the full year. Based on the CEO’s comment that full-year same-store sales growth came in north of 3%, however, there could be some upside to that -1% number. For reference, a 1% increase in 4Q same-store sales would yield 3.5% growth for the full year, also north of 3%. That being said, a 1% decline represents a slowdown from 3Q and is below the company’s 4Q comparable sales guidance of up 1%-3%. The company was guiding to a 5.0% YOY increase in retail checks in the fourth quarter, including a 1% negative impact from mix, so a 1% decline in same-store sales would also imply that transactions declined 6% (also a falloff from 3Q’s 3.2% transaction decline).