HL Financial Services LLC raised its stake in shares of Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) by 7.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 7,552 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 492 shares during the period. HL Financial Services LLC’s holdings in Papa John’s International were worth $542,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC raised its position 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 position 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 position 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 position 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 position 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. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.33% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ PZZA) opened at 78.69 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $74.94 and its 200 day moving average price is $78.66. 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 capitalization of $2.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.41 and a beta of 0.51.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ:PZZA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share (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 analyst estimates of $438.51 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.61 earnings per share. Papa John’s International’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Papa John’s International, Inc. will post $2.86 EPS for the current year.

Papa John’s International announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 1st that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 198% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 18th. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.225 per share. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. This is a positive change from Papa John’s International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. Papa John’s International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 31.36%.

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Several research firms recently commented on PZZA. Stephens upped their target price on Papa John’s International from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Papa John’s International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Instinet reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $78.00 target price (down from $84.00) on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Monday, July 31st. BidaskClub lowered Papa John’s International from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Papa John’s International in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Papa John’s International currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $89.17.

In related news, SVP Timothy C. Ohern sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.79, for a total transaction 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 filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Steve M. Ritchie sold 10,396 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total value of $831,680.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 37,601 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,008,080. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 27.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Papa John’s International

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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