Papa John’s founder John Schnatter’s stake in the company is getting even smaller. Schnatter, who hasn’t had a formal role at the company since April, unloaded large quantities of his remaining stake in the pizza chain on August 19, according to Louisville Business First. 

In May, he sold about 3.8 million shares, bringing his stake in Papa John’s down to 19 percent from roughly 31 percent. After a three-month long waiting period, Schnatter sold an additional 100,000 shares at “a price of $42.79 per share, for a total of $4.27 million,” earlier this week, Louisville Business First reported. Schnatter, who once controlled 30 percent of Papa John’s, now only holds about 5.4 million shares. 

Here’s a look at Schnatter’s disposal of shares so far.

  • May 10: 114,061 shares sold
  • May 14: 42,783 shares sold
  • May 14: 600 shares sold
  • May 15: 156,700 shares sold
  • May 16: 78,428 shares sold
  • May 21: 3,451,413 shares sold
  • August 19: 100,000 shares sold

It was a little over a year ago when Schnatter exited as Papa John’s chairman in the wake of a report he used a racial slur on a conference call with then-marketing agency Laundry Service. Sales have been in flux over the past year.

Same-store sales declined 5.7 percent during Q2 of 2019, which did mark the fourth consecutive period of improvement.

  • Q2 2019: –5.7 percent
  • Q1 2019: –6.9 percent
  • Q4 2018: –8.1 percent
  • Q3 2018: –9.8 percent
  • Q2 2018: –6.1 percent
  • Q1 2018: –5.3 percent

Papa John’s recently signed former NBA superstar Shaq as a brand ambassador to lead the brand’s upcoming fall marketing campaign. The company is hoping a $40 million marketing blitz will continue to push the brand in the right direction.

Papa John’s posted Q2 revenues of $399.6 million compared to the year-ago figure of $429.9 million. CEO Steve Ritchie said Papa John’s could take 12–18 months to emerge from its downturn.

“We know our margins are going to be backwards until we get back to positive sales is the bottom line, which is what we expect to do in the back half of this year,” he said during an August 6 conference call. “We produced 14 consecutive years of flat-to-positive sales growth in North America, so we know the brand is capable of that. We just have to get the business stabilized here.”

Finance, Story, Papa Johns