You have to travel far to find Jamba's
That's usually a pretty grim sign, but not this time. The company earned $0.04 a share during the 12-week period, or $0.03 per share if you back out a favorable warrants-related gain. Analysts were expecting Jamba to earn just $0.01 a share.
Sure, comps were off by 3.5%, but we already knew that. We also knew that revenues climbed 14% higher during the period, fueled by the addition of 27 company-owned stores during the period. Jamba now watches over 645 smoothie shops, with all but 218 of them owned by Jamba itself.
It wasn't a great quarter. Margins were squeezed like some of its fresh fruits on a juicer. From higher food costs to minimum-wage hikes to higher operating costs as a standalone public entity, it wasn't pretty, but Wall Street was obviously expecting things to be even worse.
The company recently adjusted its menu prices higher in a move to offset its higher costs. If consumers don't mind -- and the recent introduction of all-fruit and functional smoothie lines enhances the company's value proposition -- maybe Jamba can begin acting like the growth stock that it should be.
See, I love the product. I own the stock. I figured that I was getting in on the ground floor of the next Starbucks
It hasn't worked out that way just yet, despite a seasoned management that came from retail juggernauts including Burger King
Seasonally speaking, the second quarter has been the strongest period for the company. In other words, menu hikes are unlikely to offset seasonal sequential declines in the current quarter, and especially in the fourth quarter, which is historically the slowest at Jamba.
However, with the company taking initiatives to trim costs while introducing new lines -- including hot items (and don't laugh, because Starbucks did just fine when it chilled its bean brews) -- and expanding aggressively outside its California stronghold, investors may not have to travel far at all to get to liquid sunshine.
Former odes to Jamba and other earthy drinks:
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is about a 10-minute walk to a Jamba Juice, making that trek often. He does own shares in Jamba. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it comes with a free immunity boost.