Jack in the Box
Opening up the Box, we find net revenues increased 11.7% against the year-ago period; comparable same-store sales from company-owned Jack in the Box restaurants were up 5.9%. Management attributed the positive comps to developments in its menu, restaurant environment, and guest service.
Jack in the Box's continuous refreshing of its menu puts it in the ranks of Sonic
If the cheesecake doesn't whet your appetite, perhaps the company's improving profit margin will. Restaurant operating margins increased to 17.8% of sales, compared to 17.3% in the same period last year. Among other things, a 6% decline in beef costs contributed to the improved profitability.
Excluding the $0.25-per-share gain from the sale of restaurants in the Hawaii market, as well as other one-time related gains and charges, the company earned $0.71 per diluted share, surpassing analyst estimates calling for $0.66 per share.
Beyond these successes, Wall Street applauded the company with its optimistic expectations, calling for EPS of $3.02 to $3.07 in FY 2007, exceeding analyst estimates of $2.95. Over the long term, the company is aiming for 12% to 15% earnings growth, with comps increasing 2% to 4% at its Jack in the Box sites and 3% to 5% at its Qdoba concept.
Qdoba Mexican Grill isn't on the same level as high-flying Chipotle Mexican Grill
Over the past year, Jack in the Box's stock has more than doubled. Shareholders shouldn't expect the stock to continue doubling every 12 months; nonetheless, the stock will likely remain a solid long-term performer as long as the company can meet its long-term expectations for both Jack in the Box and Qdoba.
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Steak n Shake
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Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy has a player rating of 97.93 and is ranked 285th out of 13,729 participants in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's new stock-rating service that's open to everyone. He has no financial interest in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a nifty disclosure policy.