In advance of upcoming meetings with investors and analysts, Papa John's International, Inc. (Nasdaq:PZZA) announced today its expected 2001 growth plans. The company announced that in 2001 it expects: its systems to open 340 to 360 new restaurants; systemwide comparable sales to increase 1% to 3%; and earnings per share to be in the $2.40 to $2.50 range (an increase of 13% over projected 2000 earnings per share.) The 2001 earnings per share expectations assumes the entire $225 million of company stock authorized for repurchase be the company is accomplished prior to the beginning of 2001 at prices comparable to current market levels. Through September 15, 2000, the company had repurchased approximately 7.6 million shares of its common sock under the repurchase authorization at a cost of $187 million, for an average price of $24.66 per share. Earnings for 2001 will be based on a 52-week year, while 2000 earnings will be favorably impacted by a 53rd week of operations.
The company also reaffirmed its 2000 systemwide new restaurant opening target of approximately 380 units, systemwide comparable sales of approximately 2% and earnings expectations of $2.12 per share, before advertising litigation related costs.