Papa John’s stock jumps after executive reshuffle announcement and revenue beat

Papa John’s International Inc. signage is displayed on top of a delivery vehicle outside of the company’s restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Papa John’s stock jumped 5% in premarket trading after announcing an executive reshuffle and quarterly revenue that topped Wall Street’s estimates.

Same-store sales in North America turned positive, growing by 1%, for the first time in two years.

Shares of the pizza chain, which has a market value of $1.8 billion, are up 43% so far this year, as of Tuesday’s close.

Chief Financial Officer Joe Smith will leave the company in 2020 after nearly 20 years at the company. He will remain in the role until Papa John’s finds a new CFO.

Chief Operating and Growth Officer Mike Nettles and Chief Marketing Officer Karlin Linhardt will also be departing the company after a transition period.

The two executives’ departures come as Papa John’s switches up its management structure.

“As we introduce a more focused plan and strategic priorities for the company, we are realigning Papa John’s senior management, promoting leaders within the company and adding proven talent,” CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement.

Lynch has been at the helm for two months. Prior to joining Papa John’s to replace CEO Steve Ritchie, he was president of Arby’s.

Max Wetzel will join the company as chief commercial and marketing officer. Wetzel served as chief transformation officer and vice president of consumer brands at PPG Industries, a paint supplier.

Nettles’ job as chief operating and chief growth officer will be split into two roles. Jim Norberg, who is currently the company’s head of restaurant operations, will take over as chief operating officer for North America. Jack Swaysland has been named chief operating officer for international markets.

Papa John’s also announced its fiscal-third quarter results Wednesday. Net sales rose 4.8% to $403.7 million, topping estimates of $386.9 million.

Excluding financial assistance to North American franchisees and other items, the pizza chain earned 21 cents per share, falling short of Wall Street’s expectations of 23 cents per share.

Read the full earnings report here.

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