Earnings of restaurant chain Jack in the Box (JACK) increased in the first quarter, despite a modest decline in revenues. The results beat market estimates, driving the stock higher in the after-hours trading session Wednesday. The company also reaffirmed its full-year 2019 guidance.
The San Diego, California-based company reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.35 per share for the fourth quarter, up from $1.23 per share in the same period a year earlier. Reported profit rose to $34.1 million or $1.31 per share from $12.19 million or $0.41 per share. The bottom line topped expectations.
First-quarter revenues dropped 1.3% annually to $290.78 million but surpassed Wall Street estimates. Total same-store sales edged down 0.1% during the quarter when a 0.5% increase in company same-store sales was more than offset by a 0.1% decrease in franchise sales. The top-line was negatively impacted by a 40% fall in company restaurant sales, while the other two segments registered growth.
The top-line was negatively impacted by a 40% fall in company restaurant sales, while the other two segments registered growth
“Our long-term goals are centered around meeting evolving consumer needs, with emphasis on improving operations consistency and targeted investments designed to maximize our returns. We remain focused on balancing the interests of all our stakeholders, including our franchisees, customers, employees and shareholders,” said CEO Lenny Comma.
For fiscal 2019, the company forecasts total same-store sales of flat to up 2%. Capital expenditure is expected to be between $30 million and $35 million. The management plans to open 25-35 new restaurants during the year, the majority of which will be franchise locations. The estimate is in line with the company’s earlier projection.
Meanwhile, the board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.40 per share, to be paid on March 19, 2019, to shareholders of record on March 4, 2019.
Jack in the Box shares traded lower throughout Wednesday’s regular trading session. The stock, which moved up about 2% since the beginning of the year, gained sharply following the announcement.