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Civil unrest means more pizza deliveries

John Schnatter founder and ceo of Papa Johns
JB Lacroix | WireImage | Getty Images
John Schnatter founder and ceo of Papa Johns

Could civil unrest in the United States be good for pizza shops?

KeyBanc analyst Chris O'Cull's conclusion is yes.

While casual dining restaurants have seen foot traffic drop 3 percent to 5 percent in recent weeks — the result of political and social disruptions — pizza operators could see an uptick in sales from consumers looking to eat at home, according to O'Cull.

"We do not believe the consumer has 'entrenched,' but has likely shifted more in favor of convenience, benefiting pizza delivery operators like Papa John's," he wrote in a research note on Wednesday.

O'Cull upgraded Papa John's stock to "overweight" from "sector weight," bumping the company's target price to $80.

Shares in the company popped 3.2 percent to $71.35 in midday trading.

"We expect this phenomenon will play out at least through the general election in November and, in our view, could lead to upward EPS revisions over the next few quarters," O'Cull said.

Shares of Domino's, Yum, Rave Restaurant and Papa Murphy's were also trading positively at midday.