PZZA Our Meeting with Management in Louisville

By Mark Kalinowski Published on May 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM

We recently met with Papa John’s (PZZA; Buy) — including President & CEO Steve Ritchie, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating and Growth Officer Michael R. Nettles, Senior Vice President & CFO Joseph H. Smith, and Vice President of Investor Relations & Strategy Steve Coke — in Louisville, Kentucky. We thank them for their time! Topics of interest that we asked about include new brand ambassador (as well as board member and franchisee) Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a. Shaq), franchisee financial health, and delivery aggregators. We maintain our Buy rating on PZZA, and note the following:

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Tidbits re PZZA, Top 25 Restaurant Chains, BLMN, and Luckin Coffee

By Mark Kalinowski Published on March 31, 2019 at 12:00 AM

We briefly note the following tidbits regarding Papa John’s (PZZA; Buy), the top 25 restaurant concepts in the U.S. (as measured by domestic systemwide sales), Outback Steakhouse (owned by Bloomin’ Brands [BLMN; Not Rated]), and privatelyheld Luckin Coffee:

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PZZA The Papa John’s Ship Steers Hard to Starboard

By Mark Kalinowski Published on February 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Earlier today, Papa John’s (PZZA; Buy) announced that it has received a $200 million strategic investment from Starboard Value LP. In addition, Starboard CEO Jeffery Smith has been added to Papa John’s board and now becomes Papa John’s Chairman. Also, the board adds Anthony Sanfilippo (former Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment) and Steve Ritchie (current President and CEO of Papa John’s). On this latter front, and particularly with Mr. Ritchie’s appointment being announced in the same press release as Starboard’s investment being announced, this seems to signal Starboard’s approach (at least initially) is generally “on the side” of Mr. Ritchie’s strategic plans for Papa John’s.

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