The 773-unit smoothie chain posted impressive quarterly results last night.
Sure, revenue fell 20% to $53 million, but investors were expecting a sharp top-line drop. The Jamba Juice parent switched to a new fiscal format, shaving three weeks off its fiscal first quarter as it goes from 16 weeks last year to 13 weeks this time around. Revenue would have inched 5% higher on a pro forma basis.
Another thing holding Jamba's top line back is that the company refranchised 42 of its stores during last year's first quarter. Transferring company-owned stores to franchisees replaces meaty revenue with high-margin franchisee royalties.
In other words, Jamba's doing better than even the pro forma metrics suggest. Comparable store sales soared 11.6% during the period, fueled by a 12.7% burst at company-owned locations and a 10.5% pop at franchisee stores. The end result is that Jamba's net loss -- and, yes, we are talking about deficits this time of year given Jamba's seasonal business -- shrank from $6.5 million to $1.5 million, or $0.03 a share. Analysts were expecting Jamba to lose twice as much money during the 13-week quarter.
Investors shouldn't be surprised by what is now the company's sixth consecutive quarter of positive comps at company-owned stores. Jamba is a company that is at its best when temperatures spike and thirsty patrons seek out icy fruit drinks. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
It was still a huge showing at the store level. The 12.7% spike in Jamba's comps stacks up well against the 7% pops at both Starbucks
Jamba sees positive comps for all of 2012. It expects to develop 40-50 stores this year and double its international exposure by tacking on another 10-15 stores.
Smoothies have arrived, and an unseasonably warm February and March are making it obvious.
Blended just right
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