In his last look at Jack in the Box
At first glance, one wonders what all the excitement is about. Earnings for the period were $0.70 per share, only 3% higher from the year-ago quarter. That said, the company did top analyst expectations of $0.68 per share, and its top line of $820 million exceeded Wall Street's projection by a little more than 5%. It's also important to note that its bottom line this quarter took a $0.05-per-share hit from new accounting rules for the expensing of stock options.
Revenues benefited from strong same-store sales in the company-owned Jack in the Box units, which increased 5.5% in the first quarter. This was significantly higher than the company's original forecast of 1.5% to 2% comps growth. In the conference call, CEO Linda Lang attributed the positive results to a successful marketing campaign promoting its premium products and value menu. In particular, she highlighted the strong customer response to Jack's hard-baked ciabatta-bread sandwiches and burgers.
Lang elaborated that enhancing the menu has been a significant part of the company's strategy to reinvent the Jack in the Box concept. Much as McDonald's
Other key factors are helping the company once again perform for shareholders, including a strategy to improve operational performance, efforts to enhance restaurant facilities, the success of the company's Qdoba Mexican Grill, and its increased franchising efforts -- thinkWendy's
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Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy does not own shares of any companies mentioned.