Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lowered its stake in Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) by 17.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 10,220 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,090 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan’s holdings in Papa John’s International were worth $733,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Papa John’s International by 20.4% in the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 1,430 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 242 shares during the last quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Papa John’s International by 20.4% in the first quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,000 after buying an additional 308 shares during the last quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp raised its stake in Papa John’s International by 11.3% in the first quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 2,112 shares of the company’s stock valued at $169,000 after buying an additional 215 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in Papa John’s International by 55.0% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $175,000 after buying an additional 776 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Elkfork Partners LLC raised its stake in Papa John’s International by 20.4% in the first quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC now owns 2,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $177,000 after buying an additional 374 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 80.47% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) opened at 78.10 on Wednesday. Papa John’s International, Inc. has a 52 week low of $70.73 and a 52 week high of $90.49. The firm has a market cap of $2.84 billion, a PE ratio of 27.20 and a beta of 0.51. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $75.17 and its 200-day moving average is $78.49.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ:PZZA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The company reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.01. Papa John’s International had a return on equity of 919.82% and a net margin of 6.13%. The business had revenue of $434.78 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $438.51 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Papa John’s International, Inc. will post $2.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Papa John’s International declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, August 1st that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 198% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.225 per share. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. This is a boost from Papa John’s International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Papa John’s International’s dividend payout ratio is 31.36%.

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Several analysts have commented on PZZA shares. Jefferies Group LLC set a $83.00 price target on shares of Papa John’s International and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Papa John’s International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Instinet increased their price objective on shares of Papa John’s International from $76.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Longbow Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price objective on shares of Papa John’s International in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating on shares of Papa John’s International in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $89.17.

In related news, insider Steve M. Ritchie sold 10,396 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $831,680.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 37,601 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,008,080. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Timothy C. Ohern sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.79, for a total value of $490,740.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,020 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,946,075.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 27.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Papa John’s International Company Profile

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

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Papa John`s International (NASDAQ:PZZA)

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