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.
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.