Papa John's reports after the bell. Here's what to expect

Papa John’s investors are bracing for the worst ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report Tuesday night.

Tuesday’s release marks the the first time that shareholders will be able to assess just how much damage the company has sustained following a very public and nasty feud with founder John Schnatter that started in July.

Here’s what analysts polled by Refinitiv expect:

  • Earnings per share: 22 cents
  • Revenue: $393.7 million
  • Overall same-store sales: down 10.7, according to StreetAccount

In the months since, Papa John’s has been thrown into turmoil. Sales have tanked, traffic is down and franchisees have been divided, some siding with Schnatter, others with the company and the rest caught between the two.

Then, there is question of whether or not Papa John’s will go up for sale.

The last two years have been difficult for Papa John’s. Since hitting an all-time high of $90.49 per share in December 2016, Papa John’s stock has lost nearly half its value on disappointing same-store sales growth that executives blamed on everything from increased competition with other pizza chains to the National Football League’s handling of player protests during performances of the national anthem last fall.

Sales growth at stores open for at least a year was strong in 2016, peaking during the third quarter. But that growth started to slip by the fourth quarter of that year and has progressively worsened. By the fourth quarter of 2017, same-store sales turned negative and have continued to decline.

That downward slide has only been inflamed by the July incident.

Investors aren’t as focused on Papa John’s profit as they are about buyout rumors, Peter Saleh, analyst at BTIG, said.

Shareholders would be keen for a sale, as it would be a relatively fast way for them to recoup their investments. Analysts and investors are looking forward to the earnings conference call for more clarity on the matter.

Its shares fell by about 3 percent in intraday trading Tuesday.

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