Jack in the Box 4Q profit, sales rise


Jack in the Box said Monday it recorded better-than-expected gains in same-store sales and traffic in the fourth quarter, indicating that turnaround efforts are taking hold.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct. 2, San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. booked net income of $22.7 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $4 million, or 7 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

In the prior year quarter about 40 restaurants were closed and results reflected pre-tax impairment charges of $28 million, which impacted earnings by about 33 cents, the company said. In addition, Jack in the Box Inc. saw gains of about 30 cents per share during the recent quarter on the sale of 106 company-owned restaurants to franchisees.

Latest-quarter revenue fell to $504.2 million for the quarter, a decline of 10 percent from $563.2 million a year ago.

Fourth-quarter systemwide same-store sales increased 3.1 percent, reflecting gains of 5.8 percent at corporate locations and 2 percent at franchised units.

At sister brand Qdoba Mexican Grill, systemwide same-store sales rose 3.7 percent, with corporate locations up 4.3 percent and franchise units up 3.3 percent.

“We believe these results have been largely driven by investments we have made to enhance the entire guest experience at the Jack in the Box brand,” Linda Lang, Jack in the Box chairwoman, chief executive and president, said.

Lang said same-store sales increases in the fourth quarter exceeded expectations, reflecting an acceleration of sales and traffic in particular in the last two months of the quarter.

Turnaround efforts have included an ongoing restaurant remodeling program; the rollout of new, easier-to-navigate menu boards; and upgrades to key menu items and efforts to improve service.