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Growing no of refranchised restaurants likely to reduce Jack in the Box’s topline in Q4

Jack in the Box (JACK) is set to report its fourth quarter 2018 operating results on Monday after market close and will host the earnings conference call to review the results on Tuesday morning. Wall Street estimates the company to post higher earnings and lower revenues compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter. EPS is expected to be $0.85 on revenues of $176 million, representing an annual increase of 15% and decline of 24%, respectively.

Analysts expect that the increase in refranchising will hurt the San Diego, California-based company’s sales for the final quarter of 2018. As of August 9, Jack in the Box has refranchised 134 restaurants making the franchise mix at about 94%. The company had already said that it would sell one additional restaurant in the final quarter of 2018, which would complete its refranchising initiative.

For the third quarter ended July 8, the burger chain reported earnings of $1.00 per share on revenues of $188 million. While the profit rose 27% annually, revenue declined 24%. However, both bottom and topline surpassed analysts’ views. Same-store sales inched up 0.6% driven by average check growth of 2.6%.

Jack has guided the same-store sales to increase 1-2% in the fourth quarter and to be flat to grow 0.5% for fiscal 2018.

Jack in the Box sold its subsidiary Qdoba in the first quarter of 2018 and completed that transaction in March 2018. The operating results of Qdoba are now included in discontinued operations.

On October 23, JACK’s peer McDonald’s (MCD) reported its recently ended quarter results, which beat analysts’ estimates. The canned soup producer Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) will be reporting its first quarter 2019 results on Tuesday before the bell.

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Average rating by the analysts is “Hold” for Jack and the price target is $99.46. Jack in the Box has a yearly low of $75.09 and yearly high of $108.55. The stock opened at $78.68 on Friday and closed at $80.64, up 1.86%. Shares of the restaurant operator have lost 18% since beginning of this year and 23% in the past one year.

 

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