News Briefs: Pizza company stocks

Nov. 13, 2002

* Papa John's continues stock repurchases

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A report by Dow Jones Newswires said that Papa John's International Inc. has repurchased another 300,000 shares of its stock since Oct. 29 (See also "Papa John's bets on long-term iniatives ... ").

On Nov. 13, the pizza chain reported in its third-quarter 10-Q filing that the number of its outstanding shares declined to 18.9 million from 19.2 million.

By Nov. 7, the company had spent $329 million of a total $375 million approved for the repurchase of its shares at an average per-share price of $25.83.

Shortly after trading opened on Nov. 14, the stock's price was $26.52.

According to Kansas City, Mo.-based Fahnestock & Co., in the first nine months of 2002, Papa John's purchased 3.5 million of its own shares at an average price of $29.10.

* Neuberger fund manager likes Chuck E. Cheese

IRVING, Texas -- Despite negative comparable-store sales trends at Chuck E. Cheese, Kevin O'Brien, portfolio manager of Neuberger Berman Genesis' $4 billion small-cap value fund, views shares of the Irving-based CEC Entertainment Inc. (CEC: Nasdaq), Chuck's parent, as an attractive buy (See "Third quarter sales drop pummels CEC stock price").

According to a Dow Jones Newswire report, though CEC's stock has lost more than a third of its value this year (trading recently around $28), he believes the stock remains undervalued and predicts that in the next five years, Chuck E. Cheese could add about 200 stores to its current U.S. total of 420 sites in 46 states.

* FMR more than doubles CPK share ownership

LOS ANGELES -- FMR Corp., parent company of Fidelity Mutual Funds, boosted its share ownership in California Pizza Kitchen Inc. (CPKI) from 5.2 percent to 11.2 percent as of Nov. 12.

Market-watchers' eyebrows rose on Nov. 11 when CPK's co-chairmen, its CEO, CFO and majority shareholder Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co., sold 1.46 million shares of CPK stock (See "CPK officers ... sell 1.46 million shares of stock").

Over the next three trading days the company's share price fell into the $23 range before rising to $24.19 in early trading on Nov. 14.

Topics: Public Companies

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