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What: Shares of pizza slinger Papa John's
So what: It's earnings season, folks, and so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Papa's big leap was thanks to an investor-pleasing earnings report. Despite a hit from marketing charges, Papa John's first-quarter earnings per share increased 8% from last year. That was far better than the $0.55 that Wall Street analysts had expected. Revenue, meanwhile, was up 6% from the first quarter of 2011 thanks in large part to 3% same-store sales growth in domestic company-owned restaurants and 8.4% same-store growth internationally.
Now what: In the company's press release, Papa John's CEO and founder John Schnatter said, "The year is off to a terrific start." I think it's safe to say that investors agree. Of course, it also helped that, in addition to the strong first-quarter numbers, Papa John's also boosted its full-year outlook, taking its expected earnings per share to a range of $2.40 to $2.50. Wall Street had been estimating $2.36 for the year.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.