Throughout all the diet fads and the concerns regarding health issues and obesity, one constant seems to be America's love of pizza. No matter what an individual's goals are, few can resist a slice or two of pizza. At least that would seem to be the case based on the latest results from Papa John's
The pizza maker rolled out a pleasing first quarter, leading to an improved outlook for the year. The company reported earnings of $0.59 per share, up from $0.47 last year. Revenue jumped 6.5% to $252.4 million compared to the same period last year, in part because of the inclusion of 33 restaurants whose income was not reflected in the prior period ($5.5 million of top-line gains). Comp (same-store) sales posted a modest 3.8% increase in the quarter on the strength of April's 8.6% growth, contributing $4.5 million of the company's $15.5 million in revenue growth.
The company credits its recent success to lower administrative costs and increased restaurant pricing. Those factors also helped push operating margins up to 19% at its domestic locations, from 17% in the same period last year. Papa John's also managed to grow its cash horde by an astounding 77%, increasing its operating cash flow to $19.6 million.
Based on the positive news, Papa John's raised its guidance for the full year from between $2.27 and $2.35 per share to a range of $2.35 to $2.41 per share. Those new estimates give the company a forward P/E of 15.2 to 15.6.
Despite intense competition from the likes of Domino's
Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own shares of any of the companies in this article.