Papa John's Stock Pivots Lower After Guidance Cut

Coronavirus fears led to the reduced guidance

by Laura McCandless

Published on Feb 26, 2020 at 11:14 AM

A big earnings loser today is Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA). The pizza giant reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 37 cents per share, which is 4 cents a share above estimates and 22 cents higher than the same quarter last year. Continuing to exceed expectations, the company's revenue came in at $417.41 million, shooting by the estimated $405.32 million. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, Papa John's adjusted its 2020 forecast to an area below Wall Street estimates.

All of that has Papa John’s stock down 9.4% to trade at $60.87 this morning, trading at its lowest level of 2020 thus far. Last Thursday, Feb. 20th, PZZA hit a two-year high of $70.19, continuing on its steadily bullish upswing. Even with today's drop, the stock is up 46% in the last 12 months. Today’s pullback has also found support at the shares’ 100-day moving average.

In the options pits, data at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows PZZA with a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.49. This a ratio sits in the 99th percentile of its annual range, suggesting the rate of call buying is rare at the moment.

It comes as no surprise that analysts are betting bullishly. Out of 11 analysts in coverage, none have “sell” or “strong sell” ratings. Echoing this sentiment in the options pits, PZZA’s put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 0.31, which ranks in the 2nd percentile of its annual range. In other words, short-term options players have rarely been more call-heavy in the last 12 months.

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