Jack in the Box Inc. (NYSE: JBX), operator and franchisor of Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Grill, reported net earnings of $16.3 million or 44 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter ended April 13. Though earnings matched expectations, they were down more than 10 percent over the same period in the previous year.
Same store sales at Jack in the Box restaurants decreased 4.3 percent compared with a 0.3 percent decrease in the prior year. The company said sales were affected by weak economic conditions in key markets, competitive discounting, poor weather, and soft sales in military personnel dominated markets.
The bright spot in the announcement was at Qdoba Mexican Grill, a fast-casual chain of 92 stores purchased in January 2003. Though no figures were given, the company said Qdoba achieved another double digit increase in same store sales compared with the same quarter a year ago.
In addition, double digit increases in same store sales were said to have occurred at the 12 store chain of Quick Stuff convenience stores. Neither Qdoba nor Quick Stuff contribute materially to Jack in the Box financial results.
Consolidated company restaurant sales were flat at $418 million. Total consolidated revenues grew 3.3 percent to $463 million.
The company opened 20 Jack in the Box restaurants and one company and 6 franchised Qdoba grills during second quarter. A $90 million share buyback authorization was completed with the purchase of the final $14 million authorized.
Jack in the Box reiterated its fiscal 2003 earnings estimate of $1.97 to $2.01.
Investors were pleased with the news and pushed share prices up 4.5 percent to close at $21.18.
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