Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Papa John’s Int’l (PZZA) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Papa John’s Int’l (NASDAQ:PZZA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Papa John’s have underperformed the industry in the past year.  During third-quarter 2018, both earnings and revenues lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also declined year over year. This downside can be attributed to dismal domestic company-owned restaurant sales and a decline in North America commissary sales on weak volumes. This was partially mitigated by higher international sales, other revenues and a positive impact of the forex rates. Moreover, the company is likely to benefit from its consistent international expansion plans and strategic partnerships. Also, Papa John’s is investing heavily in technology-driven initiatives like digital ordering to boost sales. Additionally, in order to revive its brand image and reinvigorate growth, the company announced an assistance program for its U.S. and Canada franchisees.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Papa John’s Int’l from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of Papa John’s Int’l from $51.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, November 12th. BidaskClub raised shares of Papa John’s Int’l from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Bank of America raised shares of Papa John’s Int’l from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 27th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on shares of Papa John’s Int’l from $38.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $59.50.

PZZA opened at $57.29 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $1.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.87, a PEG ratio of 3.05 and a beta of 0.27. Papa John’s Int’l has a 1 year low of $38.05 and a 1 year high of $69.45.

Papa John’s Int’l (NASDAQ:PZZA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 6th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $364.01 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $390.62 million. Papa John’s Int’l had a negative return on equity of 27.98% and a net margin of 2.64%. Papa John’s Int’l’s revenue was down 15.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.60 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Papa John’s Int’l will post 1.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, November 12th were issued a $0.225 dividend. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 8th. Papa John’s Int’l’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.35%.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of PZZA. Credit Suisse AG boosted its holdings in shares of Papa John’s Int’l by 1,565.4% in the 3rd quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 563,736 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,909,000 after buying an additional 529,887 shares during the last quarter. FIL Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Papa John’s Int’l in the 3rd quarter worth about $24,598,000. Litespeed Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in shares of Papa John’s Int’l in the 3rd quarter worth about $10,317,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its holdings in shares of Papa John’s Int’l by 121.5% in the 2nd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 294,043 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,914,000 after buying an additional 161,302 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its holdings in shares of Papa John’s Int’l by 231.7% in the 3rd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 222,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,430,000 after buying an additional 155,700 shares during the last quarter. 71.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Papa John’s Int’l Company 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.

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