Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Papa John’s posted positive comps in both domestic and international markets in the past several quarters. Going ahead, comps growth could be maintained due to menu innovation and value offers. The company’s commitment to provide quality food should appeal to health conscious guests. It is also focusing on digital innovation to attract customers and drive growth and efficiency. Its strategic partnerships, large scale expansion plans and increased focus on franchising bode well too. Strong free cash flow position, buybacks and dividends also raise confidence. Papa John’s has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters and estimates have gone up ahead of its Q2 earnings release. However, shares of the company underperformed the industry in the last one year. Higher costs, negative currency translation and a challenging sales environment in the restaurant space remain potent headwinds.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on PZZA. Stephens restated an overweight rating and set a $90.00 price objective (down from $100.00) on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and set a $83.00 price objective on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Friday, July 14th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Papa John’s International from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. KeyCorp restated an equal weight rating on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Longbow Research restated a buy rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Monday, May 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $89.33.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ PZZA) traded up 0.62% on Thursday, reaching $71.93. 316,825 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $2.64 billion, a PE ratio of 25.51 and a beta of 0.53. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $75.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $79.22. Papa John’s International has a one year low of $70.73 and a one year high of $90.49.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ:PZZA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The company reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $449.27 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $435.47 million. Papa John’s International had a net margin of 6.09% and a return on equity of 11,469.18%. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.69 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Papa John’s International will post $2.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: This piece of content was originally published by Watch List News and is the property of of Watch List News. If you are reading this piece of content on another website, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of U.S. & international trademark and copyright law. The correct version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://www.watchlistnews.com/zacks-investment-research-upgrades-papa-johns-international-inc-nasdaqpzza-to-hold/1464054.html.

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 $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 3rd. This is a positive change from Papa John’s International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.26%. Papa John’s International’s payout ratio is currently 28.27%.

In other news, SVP Timothy C. Ohern sold 6,000 shares of Papa John’s International stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.79, for a total value of $490,740.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,020 shares in the company, valued at $2,946,075.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Lance F. Tucker sold 4,051 shares of Papa John’s International stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.39, for a total transaction of $333,761.89. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 25,522 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,102,757.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 20,447 shares of company stock valued at $1,656,182 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 27.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PZZA. Sapphire Star Partners LP raised its stake in shares of Papa John’s International by 8.7% in the first quarter. Sapphire Star Partners LP now owns 3,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $263,000 after buying an additional 263 shares in the last quarter. Sawgrass Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Papa John’s International during the first quarter worth approximately $317,000. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 worth $146,000 after buying an additional 308 shares in the last quarter. Profund Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Papa John’s International by 0.6% in the first quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 4,278 shares of the company’s stock worth $342,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Waldron LP bought a new stake in shares of Papa John’s International during the first quarter worth approximately $289,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.58% of the company’s stock.

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Papa John’s International (PZZA)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Papa John`s International (NASDAQ:PZZA)

Receive News & Ratings for Papa John's International Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Papa John's International Inc. and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.