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Papa John's Posts Solid Comps Amid Coronavirus, Stock Surges

Zacks Equity Research

Papa John's International, Inc. PZZA seems to be on a roll despite the coronavirus pandemic as evident from its preliminary estimated comparable sales numbers for the April and May fiscal 2020 period. In fact, the company delivered best sales period in its history in the month of May. Following the news, the company’s shares gained 6.2% yesterday. In the past three months, the company’s shares have surged 37.2%, against the industry’s decline of 6%.

Preliminary Comparable Sales

Preliminary, estimated system-wide North America restaurants comparable sales for the first two fiscal periods (April and May) of the three months ending Jun 28, 2020 increased 26.9% and 33.5% year over year, respectively. 

Moreover, domestic company-owned restaurant comps for April and May rose 22% and 28.3% year over year, respectively. Preliminary, estimated North America franchised restaurants comps for April and May advanced 28.4% and 35.1% year over year, respectively.

On the international front, the company also reported impressive comps. System-wide international restaurants comps for April and May are estimated to have increased 1.4% and 7%, respectively.

Rob Lynch, president & CEO said “We entered the pandemic with strong growth and momentum, and are fortunate that our delivery and carry-out model has enabled us to meet an essential need for high quality food, safely delivered to consumers’ homes.”

Other Updates

Nearly 320 out of the company’s approximately 2,100 international franchised stores were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Middle East, Latin America and Europe 115, 105 and 90 stores are closed, respectively.

Stores in some international markets are open predominantly for delivery only. The company further announced that non-traditional restaurants located in universities and stadiums are temporarily closed.

Papa John's currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). 

Other Key Picks

Some other top-ranked stocks, which warrant a look in the same space include Domino's Pizza, Inc. DPZ, Wingstop Inc. WING and Yum China Holdings, Inc. YUMC. All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Domino's Pizza, Wingstop and Yum China have an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 12.5%, 11% and 9.5%, respectively.

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