Papa John’s Soars Despite Revenue & Earnings Miss


Papa John’s International Inc (NASDAQ: PZZA)

Papa John’s reported announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 30, 2018, after markets closed on Tuesday.

Fourth quarter earnings and revenue of the Louisville-based company missed fell shy of Wall Street’s expectations. The results came barely a month after the pizza chain received a $200 million investment from New York-based activist hedge fund Starboard Value and appointed its chief executive to serve as chairman.

PZZA stock rose more than 4% in the extended trading session after closing the regular session at $41.79. The stock has been under pressure ever since its disgraced founder, John Schnatter, stepped down as chairman mid last year. Shares have lost 27% in the last 12 months, but are up 5% so far this year.

PZZA Earnings & Outlook

Papa John’s said it had a net loss of $13.8 million, or $0.44 per share, compared with net income of $28.5 million, or $0.81 per share, in the same period last year. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring items, came to $0.15 per share. On average, analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting adjusted earnings of $0.17 per share.

Net sales came to $374.0 million, down 20% from $467.6 million in the earlier-year period. Analysts had called for net sales of $390.1 million, based on figures compiled by Refinitiv.

Looking ahead, the company expects fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings to be in the region of $1 to $1.20 per share, while analysts model earnings of $1.20 per share. For the current quarter, analysts project adjusted earnings of $0.22 per share on net sales of $385 million.

Papa John’s Executive Comments

Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s, said, “I am confident in the long-term success of Papa John’s. With the additional $200 million of financial resources from Starboard, we will make targeted investments in the highest return initiatives that showcase our quality and improve the customer experience. We remain focused on people and pizza and continue to be enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead.”

Jeff Smith, Chairman of the Papa John’s Board of Directors, added, “Over the past few weeks, I have met with many of our team members and franchisees and am excited by their ideas, passion and dedication to Papa John’s. I look forward to working closely with Steve and the management team to develop additional product, menu, and customer engagement strategies that fortify our position as the ‘BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.’ company.”

Papa John’s International, Inc. Profile

Papa John’s International, Inc. operates and franchises pizza delivery and carryout restaurants under the Papa John’s trademark in the United States and internationally. It operates through five segments: Domestic Company-Owned Restaurants, North America Commissaries, North America Franchising, International Operations, and All Others.

The company also operates dine-in and delivery restaurants. As of December 31, 2017, it operated 5,199 Papa John’s restaurants, which included 743 company-owned and 4,456 franchised restaurants. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. – Yahoo Finance