Kindred’s Q1 results beat forecasts; Papa shares surge 8% at the close, and a Yum operator just got way bigger

Latest news, with a special focus on big Louisville employers; updated at 4:48 p.m.

KINDRED just reported first-quarter earnings per share of 25 cents, down 27% from a year ago, but better than analysts’ expectations. Revenue rose nearly 10% to $1.84 billion, in line with forecasts (press release). In late trading, shares surged 3.4% to $14.98.

PAPA JOHN’S stock soared 8% to $60.16 a share at the close today, after the company reported first-quarter results late yesterday that beat forecasts on earnings, but missed on revenue (Reuters). The company is charging into a record number of foreign markets this year: “Our international business is on fire,” CEO John Schnatter told analysts during a conference call today (Insider Louisville).

HUMANA said first-quarter profit dove 28% to $1.86 per share, but that was higher than management’s earlier forecast of $1.80, excluding items (press release and The Wall Street Journal). Shares closed moments ago at $175.70, down less than 1%.

Diablo sauceYUM: One of Yum Brands’ biggest operators has added 91 more KFC and Taco Bell outlets in five states: Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida. The deal gives KBP Foods of Overland Park, Kan., 361 locations in 14 states (Nation’s Restaurant News); overall, Yum has nearly 43,000 restaurants worldwide. Taco Bell is permanently bringing back Diablo Sauce, according to USA Today (which now apparently has some sort of sponsored content agreement with the Yum unit). Pizza Hut has bacon-stuffed crust pies again (Daily Meal). KFC has opened a high-tech concept store in Shanghai (Manila Bulletin). Also, a Florida woman told police she found something seriously gross in a chicken sandwich (Smoking Gun).

TEXAS ROADHOUSE continues to tinker with its Bubba’s 33 pizza-and-burger concept stores (Insider Louisville and Business First). Also, the chain will open its latest Texas Roadhouse restaurant, in Virginia’s Roanoke County, June 20; the chain is now looking to hire 160 people for the location (WDBJ). The company already has more than 460 restaurants in 49 states, plus five locations in the Middle East.

KROGER: The operator of a huge Kroger distribution center in Colorado is moving to replace employees who’ve been on strike nearly a week (Gazette).

And in other news, Norton Hospital in downtown Louisville is the fourth-most profitable hospital in the country, according to a new academic study — a study the hospital disputes (WDRB). Louisville tobacco company Turning Point Brands is exploring an IPO (Business First).

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