Founder and CEO John Schnatter and the three other senior officers sold the shares over the past week for prices between around $76 and $77 a share, according to new Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
The trades came just as Papa John’s hit a record high of $78.09, pushing the value of Schnatter’s 10.5 million shares above $800 million for the first time.
PZZA closed this afternoon at for $75.15, up 65 cents.
So-called insider stock sales are an important barometer of where top executives at companies think share prices are headed. But they’re an imperfect measure. Sometimes, executives sell through what’s called SEC Rule 10b5-1 plans. They allow major holders to sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time, a plan often approved in advance by the board of directors to avoid insider-trading accusations.
The Papa John’s filings don’t disclose any reason for the sales, however.