Reaching a new record high, Schnatter’s Papa John’s stake jumps past $800 million for the first time

John Schnatter

This afternoon, Papa John’s stock soared to a new record closing high of $77.38 a share, up 4.6%, or $3.37, on a better-than-expected second-quarter report. That’s good news for all shareholders (except for the shorts, of course!) — but none more so than founder and CEO John Schnatter. He’s the pizza chain’s single-biggest stockholder, with 10,455,981 shares — 27.6% of all, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents.

Papa John’s shares have staged a huge comeback since hitting a 52-week closing low of $45.50 on Feb. 3. Here’s the value of Schnatter’s stake that day compared to its rising value the day after each of the past three quarterly earnings reports:


Feb. 3


Feb. 23


May 3



Schnatter, 54, founded Papa John’s in 1984, right after graduating from Ball State University with a business degree. More than 30 years later, it’s now a fast-food goliath with 4,700 restaurants worldwide — including more than 1,200 international ones in 37 countries and territories. It has 750 employees in Louisville, and another 21,000 across the globe. The company went public in 1993. More about Papa John’s.

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