Papa John’s Q4 Beats as Low Prices Draw Customers

According to Reuters, “Papa John’s International Inc’s quarterly results beat market expectations as lower prices brought in more guests to its restaurants.”

“The pizza chain, which backed its 2011 earnings outlook of $2.00-$2.12 a share, said it expects higher sales in the beginning of the year to offset higher commodity costs, most notably cheese. For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 26, Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John’s earned $14.0 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with $13.7 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, it earned 51 cents a share. Revenue at the company, which competes with Yum Brands Inc’s Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza Inc , rose 5 percent to $286.8 million. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 48 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $282.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.”

“Heavy discounting hurt the average check at Papa John’s, but strong customer traffic in the fourth quarter lifted comparable sales. Domestic system-wide comparable sales rose 0.7 percent in the quarter. Papa John’s shares, which have gained more than 11 percent since the company reported third-quarter results in November, closed at $28.47 on Tuesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal).”