February 23, 2010 / 10:39 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Papa John's Q4 results top Street

3 Min Read

* Q4 adj EPS $0.41 vs est $0.37

* Revenue $280.5 mln vs est $279.0 mln

* Reaffirms 2010 EPS of $1.70-$1.90

* Shares up 1 pct in extended trade (Adds analyst comments, details; updates share movement)

By Renju Jose

BANGALORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Papa John's International Inc (PZZA.O) posted an adjusted quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates on lower commodity costs, and the pizza chain backed its 2010 earnings outlook.

The company sees earnings of $1.70 to $1.90 a share for 2010, with domestic system-wide sales swinging from up 1 percent to down 1 percent.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brad Ludington said he expected the company to reaffirm its 2010 outlook, adding that it came right in line with his expectations.

The first quarter could be a little bit tough for the company, but the outlook beyond the quarter will be pretty positive for Papa John's, Ludington said over phone.

He also expects commodity costs to be "manageable" for the company, even though cheese prices may rise in 2010.

Papa John's said its total domestic development pipeline as of Dec. 27 included about 200 restaurants, a majority of it scheduled to open over the next four years.

It also expects to open its first restaurant in Columbia, Morocco and Chile this year.

For the fourth quarter, Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's, which competes with Domino's Pizza Inc (DPZ.N) and Yum Brands Inc's (YUM.N) Pizza Hut, earned $13.7 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $12.8 million, or 46 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, it earned 41 cents a share.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 37 cents a share, before items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue fell marginally to $280.5 million, but beat analysts' expectations of $279.0 million.

Domestic system-wide same-store sales fell 0.5 percent, while international franchise system sales rose 18 percent for the quarter. Shares of the company rose to $23.49 in extended trade, after closing at $23.20 Tuesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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