Papa John's Coming Soon to Beijing

Pizza chain Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA) backed previous 2006 earnings guidance on Thursday, and issued a 2007 earnings guidance range that meets Wall Street expectations at the top end.

The company said it continues to expect 2006 earnings of $1.45 to $1.49 per share, while analysts expect the company to report earnings of $1.44 per share.

For 2007, the company projected earnings of $1.48 to $1.56 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect the company to post earnings, on average, of $1.56 per share.

Papa John's expects 2007 revenue to increase by 5 percent to 7 percent, approaching $1.1 billion. Analysts are looking for $1.05 billion in 2007 sales.

The company also said it acquired the operations of a Beijing franchisee, which includes five restaurants, a quality control center, and development rights for Papa John's restaurants in Beijing, for $4.3 million.

Shares of Papa John's fell 3 cents to close at $30.29 on the Nasdaq.