West-coast based fast-food restaurant chain Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) reported its fiscal second-quarter results yesterday, beating analyst forecasts on revenue but missing by a considerable amount on earnings per share (EPS). Investors reacted to the earnings miss by bidding the company's shares down in after-hours trading, a trend that has continued into this morning.
Analyst consensus estimates, as supplied by Zacks, put Jack in the Box's quarterly EPS at $0.68 and revenue at $212.1 million. In fact, the company delivered $0.50 EPS, $0.18 below expectations. Its revenue beat by $4.1 million, coming in at $216.2 million.
In year-over-year terms, Jack in the Box's revenue actually rose for the quarter, by approximately 0.2%. However, earnings per share plunged 49.5% compared to Q2 2019, reflecting restaurant dine-in closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though the company posted a 4.2% drop in same-store sales systemwide, the quarter's first seven weeks told a different story. Before the coronavirus swept across the United States, Jack in the Box saw vigorous sales growth, much like many other restaurants in the beginning days of 2020.
CEO Lenny Comma credits both attractive prices and new menu items as the sources of the company's early year success. He singled out one food item in particular as helping to improve the bottom line prior to the coronavirus: Tiny Tacos. "Tiny Tacos helped to reestablish our equity in Tacos while delivering a craveable product at a great price," he said.
In addition to its earlier withdrawal of fiscal year 2020 guidance, the company also announced it is withdrawing its long-term guidance.