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Papa Murphy’s stock soars after sales, profits beat expectations

The company said its sales turned positive for the first time in 37 months.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Papa Murphy’s Holdings said that its sales improved last quarter and profits bested expectations, sending the company’s shares soaring nearly 10% in after-hours trading Monday.

Same-store sales declined 1.3% in the fourth quarter and 2.5% for the full year, which were in line with the company’s guidance, according to preliminary financial results released Monday.

The Vancouver, Wash.-based take-and-bake pizza chain said that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, for the full year will be $22.3 million, better than the company’s initial expectations of $21 million.

Weldon Spangler, Papa Murphy’s CEO, said that sales were positive in October, the first time that happened in 37 months. And he said that the results enabled the company to pay down some of its term loan at the end of the quarter.

“Momentum has continued into 2019,” he said in a statement, “and we expect our strategic and cost saving initiatives to continue to deliver” this year.

The company said that its net income for the fourth quarter was $2 million, or 12 cents per share, while revenues were about $32 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Papa Murphy’s said late last year that it would explore strategic alternatives, suggesting it is looking for a buyer.

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