Day: August 25, 2016

Schnatter unloads another $1.7 million worth of Papa’s shares

It seems Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter can hardly sell shares fast enough. Moments ago, he notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that he’d sold 22,261 shares at $76 each, for a total $1.7 million.

That’s the same per-share price he got Tuesday and Monday, when he sold 11,500 for $873,000 — trades we reported just this morning. And those all followed the 24,322 shares he unloaded the first week of the month, when three other top executives went to market as well, all at prices between $76 and $77 a share.

John Schnatter

Insider sales like these are always noteworthy because they could mean the top brass thinks share prices have plateaued, or are headed lower. On the other hand, such trades could simply involve selling to raise cash or diversify investment portfolios.

Whatever the case, Papa John’s PZZA closed today at $75.34 a share That’s well below the record $78.09 trading high on Aug. 3. And as we pointed out this morning, Schnatter, 54, still holds the single-biggest stake in the company he launched in 1984: 10 million shares worth $753 million. With options, the figure rises to nearly $800 million.

Gaining on Clinton among Ky. donors, Trump raised $360K last month

Trump and Clinton
Trump bests Clinton.

GOP White House nominee Donald Trump’s take last month was more than 2½ times that of the $136,926 received by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to new data from the Federal Election Commission cited today by WFPL.

“Despite Trump’s summer surge,” the station says, “he still trails far behind Clinton in netting Kentucky’s dollars. Clinton raised more than $921,409 through the end of July, compared to Trump’s $545,940.”

In Lee and Joan Thomas’ philanthropy, five-star giving without the five-star perks

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

A lot of big philanthropy comes with nice extras: private lunches hosted by ballet company directors; season tickets to the opera with box seats, and trusteeships that offer peerless networking with other A-listers. There’s nothing wrong with that; if you gotta keep the lights on and pay the heating bill, it sometimes takes a carrot or two to attract donors who wear a carat or three.


But there are plenty of other worthwhile charities that don’t offer the same social cachet — which leads me to Louisville’s Center for Women and Families, and the late Lee Thomas Jr., the retired businessman and philanthropist who died Tuesday at 90.

The center provides crucial support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It runs a crisis hotline; two emergency shelters, and gives psychological and academic help for kids swept up in all that horror. I have Thomas and his wife Joan in mind because they gave the center $2.6 million last year, the bulk of the nearly $4 million their charitable foundation donated to 32 charities. That’s according to the Joan and Lee Thomas Foundation’s public annual IRS tax return for the year ended June 30, 2015; I leafed through it this morning.

To be sure, other generous Louisvillians give to the center, too. But what’s striking about the Thomas’ giving is the sheer concentration on charities that offer few of the five-star social extras. (KET tote bags don’t count.) This was workaday philanthropy to the Home of the Innocents, the Urban League, Planned Parenthood and other important but hardly glamorous causes; here’s a spreadsheet with all their 2015 donations.

The couple’s humility extended to their foundation’s official name, too, which barely identifies them: It’s simply called the J & L Foundation on charity tracker GuideStar.

Much more to come

Their contributions will no doubt continue; the foundation has a $19.5 million portfolio, enough to throw off nearly $1 million in annual contributions well into the future. Last year’s donations brought to $6.3 million the total given in 2013-2015 alone. It ranks in the top tier of Louisville’s biggest foundations and other non-profits based on asset size.

Vermont American logoThe Thomas’ focus on plain philanthropy is hardly surprising, because it reflects their Quaker faith; several of their other donations last year were to charities associated with the Friends General Conference.

Lee and Joan met at a Quaker work camp in 1948, The Courier-Journal says in his obituary. After marrying and moving to Louisville, in 1954 he started building up the former American Saw and Tool Co. — later called Vermont American Corp. — from a single-product supplier to Sears Roebuck & Co. into an international public corporation employing 5,000 people. It’s now a brand in the Robert Bosch Tool Co.

The Thomas’ were instrumental in establishing the ACLU’s Kentucky chapter in 1955, when local civil rights activists were defending a couple, Carl and Anne Braden, accused of being treacherous union sympathizers who fought racial segregation in housing. Lee Thomas also marched with the Rev. Martha Luther King Jr. in the city.

The ACLU mourned his death. “He put up the seed money to get our affiliate off the ground and continued to support our work for the next 61 years,” the chapter said on its Facebook page. “He was a giant for peace, justice, and equality for all. He will be missed, but his example will continue to inspire.”

Disclosure: I’m a card-carrying ACLU member and Planned Parenthood supporter.

Schnatter trims holdings by another $873K, new SEC filing shows; mourners recall pregnant Calif. Taco Bell employee killed in crash; and UPS to launch expansion

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 5:12 p.m.

PAPA JOHN’S founder and CEO John Schnatter sold 11,500 shares this week at $76 each for a total $873,000, according to a new Securities and Exchange Commission filing yesterday.

To put Schnatter’s $873,000 profit in perspective, consider this: His pizza chain is running a help-wanted Craigslist ad in the Louisville area right now for delivery drivers, promising as much as $20 an hour, with tips. At that rate, a driver would need to work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, for 21 years to make what Schattner, 54, earned with a few keyboard strokes this week.

And he still owns a lot more stock. The trades were made Monday and Tuesday, and left him with a still-huge stake: 10 million shares worth $758 million at yesterday’s closing PZZA price of $75.80. With options, the figure rises another $40 million.

HUMANA declared a regular quarterly dividend of 29 cents a share payable on Oct. 28 to stockholders of record Oct.13 (press release).

Dulce Capetillo

TACO BELL: In San Jose, Calif., last night dozens of mourners remembered Dulce Capetillo, the pregnant 18-year-old Taco Bell employee killed in a car crash last week on the way to picking up her husband, who worked for the fast-food chain during the late shift at another outlet. Doctors saved their infant son, Christopher; he’s now eating from a bottle and no longer tethered to medical equipment. By yesterday, nearly $17,000 had been raised to cover Capetillo’s funeral costs and Christopher’s medical bills, with Taco Bell contributing toward the total (Mercury News). In Louisville, the fast-Mexican chain delivered free lunch yesterday to Louisville Metro Police headquarters as it made amends for an embarrassing incident last week, where employees at a Taco Bell on Preston Highway near Phillips Lane initially balked at serving five LMPD officers (WDRB).

UPS will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for its previously announced $310 million expansion of the company’s giant shipping hub at Louisville International Airport; the project is expected to add 300 jobs over the next 18 months to the 22,000 already there (Courier-Journal). UPS is the city’s single-biggest private employer; more about the shipper’s local operations.

BROWN-FORMAN turned to automation in an expansion of its Jack Daniel’s distillery operations in Lynchburg, Tenn., according to a new and very wonky account in a trade publication (Automation World).