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"Our new price target and improved outlook for PZZA lead us to upgrade our rating," Feltl analysts wrote in a report on Wednesday. "There is not enough upside to our new price target to recommend the shares, but we would turn more positive if same-store sales improved more than we expect, PZZA produced better earnings growth or if the shares traded below $37 with no change in fundamentals."
Shares of Papa John's hit a 52-week high Thursday of $48.60. The stock's 52-week low of $29.65 was set on Aug. 9.
Papa John's trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 17.01 times; the average for restaurant and bar companies is 19.55. For comparison,
Domino's(DPZ) has a lower forward P/E of 14.9.
Three of the four analysts who cover Papa John's rated it hold; one analyst gave the stock a buy rating.
The stock has risen 28.03% year to date.