Food & Beverage

Papa John's sales soared 33.5% in May — a record for 'second straight month,' CEO says

Key Points
  • Papa John's said May estimated same-store sales shot up 33.5% in North America and 7% globally.
  • "In May, for the second straight month, Papa John's team members and franchisees delivered the best sales period in the company's history," CEO Rob Lynch said.
  • Most traditional restaurants in North America remained open as demand for pizza continued to soar during the coronavirus crisis.
VIDEO4:0704:07
Papa John's CEO on company sale surge during the pandemic

Papa John's said Wednesday that May estimated same-store sales shot up 33.5% in North America and 7% globally as the pizza chain worked to meet soaring demand during the coronavirus crisis.

"In May, for the second straight month, Papa John's team members and franchisees delivered the best sales period in the company's history," CEO Rob Lynch said in a press release.

Shares of Papa John's gained about 7% in Wednesday's premarket, one day after closing 4.5% lower to over $74 each. The stock hit a 52-week high of $84 last week. Papa John's, based on Tuesday's close, was up almost 17.5% year-to-date compared to the S&P 500's decline of 7.4% in 2020.

In April, preliminary estimated same-store sales jumped 26.9% in North America and 1.4% internationally.

Papa John's said that "in the spirit of transparency during these uncertain times," the company will continue to provide business climate updates on a monthly basis through the end of the second quarter in June.

"We entered the pandemic with strong growth and momentum, and are fortunate that our delivery and carry-out model has enabled us to meet an essential need for high-quality food, safely delivered to consumers' homes," Lynch said.

Most traditional restaurants in North America remained open.

The company added, "A number of non-traditional restaurants located in universities and stadiums are temporarily closed; these non-traditional locations are not material to the company's revenues and operating results."

Earlier this month, the company announced it earned an adjusted 41 cents per share in the first quarter. While profit best estimates, revenue of $409.9 million fell short of forecasts. For Q1, same-store sales for North America rose 5.3%.

At Domino's Pizza, U.S. same-store sales grew 14% during the first two months of its second quarter. International sales rose just 1% during the first two months of the quarter.

The pizza chain reported U.S. same-store sales growth of 20.9% from April 20 to May 17.

Analysts predict that delivery pizza chains like Domino's and Papa John's will fare better than other restaurant companies as consumers navigate a Covid-19 world.

Shares of Domino's Pizza lost 3.2% on Tuesday to close just above $360 each. The stock has declined nearly 7% from its 52-week high in late April. Domino's, based on Tuesday's close, was up 22% year-to-date.