Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $79.13 and last traded at $77.56, with a volume of 188,967 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $77.71.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on PZZA shares. Nomura lowered shares of Papa John’s International from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $66.47 to $70.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. KeyCorp raised shares of Papa John’s International from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. BTIG Research set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Papa John’s International and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Papa John’s International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Papa John’s International currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $70.50.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $75.64 and a 200-day moving average of $65.52. The company has a market capitalization of $2.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.90 and a beta of 0.23.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ:PZZA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.07. Papa John’s International had a net margin of 5.52% and a return on equity of 454.11%. The firm had revenue of $423 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $414.45 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.27 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Papa John’s International Inc. will post $2.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO John H. Schnatter sold 24,322 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.20, for a total transaction of $1,853,336.40. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 9,987,433 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $761,042,394.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Lance F. Tucker sold 6,334 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.27, for a total transaction of $489,428.18. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 38,975 shares in the company, valued at $3,011,598.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 28.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in shares of Papa John’s International by 370.5% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,270,817 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,866,000 after buying an additional 1,000,709 shares during the last quarter. RidgeWorth Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Papa John’s International by 1,545.8% in the second quarter. RidgeWorth Capital Management LLC now owns 673,151 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,794,000 after buying an additional 632,251 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Papa John’s International during the fourth quarter valued at $15,223,000. Maplelane Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Papa John’s International by 123.9% in the second quarter. Maplelane Capital LLC now owns 35,801 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,435,000 after buying an additional 185,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stephens Investment Management Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Papa John’s International by 69.6% in the second quarter. Stephens Investment Management Group LLC now owns 450,790 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,654,000 after buying an additional 185,060 shares during the last quarter. 75.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Papa John’s International

Papa John’s International, Inc operates and franchises pizza delivery and carryout restaurants. The Company operates restaurants under the trademark Papa John’s. It operates in five segments: domestic Company-owned restaurants, domestic commissaries, North America franchising, international operations, and all other business units.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:PZZA

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