Jack in the Box reports fiscal Q4 earnings from continuing operations of US$17.8M, compared with earnings of US$23.2M in year-ago period; same-store sales up 3.1%, driven by traffic growth, increase in average check
November 19, 2012
– Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK) today reported earnings from continuing operations of $17.8 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2012, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $23.2 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
Fiscal 2012 earnings from continuing operations totaled $63.0 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, compared with $81.7 million, or $1.63 per diluted share in fiscal 2011.
Operating earnings per share, a non-GAAP measure which the company defines as diluted earnings per share from continuing operations on a GAAP basis excluding restructuring charges and gains from refranchising, were $0.27 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with $0.20 per share in the prior year quarter. Operating earnings per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 includes $2.0 million, or approximately $0.03 per share, of lease costs associated with previously closed restaurants, which are reflected in “impairment and other charges, net” in the accompanying consolidated statements of earnings. For fiscal year 2012, operating earnings per share were $1.20 compared with $0.85 last year. A reconciliation of non-GAAP measurements to GAAP results is provided below with additional information included in the attachment to this release. Figures may not add due to rounding.
During fiscal 2012, the company engaged in a comprehensive review of its organization structure, including evaluating opportunities for outsourcing, restructuring of certain functions and workforce reductions. As a result, restructuring charges of $2.7 million, or approximately $0.04 per diluted share, were recorded during the fourth quarter, and $15.5 million, or approximately $0.23 per diluted share, were recorded during fiscal 2012. These charges relate primarily to severance costs for positions that were eliminated or employees who elected to participate in the company’s voluntary early retirement program. These charges are also included in “impairment and other charges, net” in the accompanying consolidated statements of earnings, which increased in the fourth quarter to $8.3 million from $2.5 million a year ago.
Gains from refranchising contributed approximately $0.16 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 as compared with approximately $0.30 per diluted share in the prior year quarter. For fiscal year 2012, gains from refranchising contributed approximately $0.44 per diluted share as compared with approximately $0.78 for fiscal year 2011.
As previously announced, during the fourth quarter of 2012, the company began outsourcing its distribution business, and the transition was completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. As a result of the outsourcing, the company recorded after-tax charges totaling $5.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which reduced diluted net earnings per share by approximately $0.12. This charge and the results of operations for the distribution business are included in discontinued operations in the accompanying consolidated statements of earnings for all periods presented.
Increase in same-store sales:
Linda A. Lang, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Jack in the Box company same-store sales increased 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by a combination of traffic growth and an increase in average check. We are extremely pleased with these results, given the difficult comparison to last year’s same-store sales and traffic growth of 5.8 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively. Jack in the Box same-store sales growth for the quarter was almost double that of the QSR sandwich segment for the comparable period, according to The NPD Group’s SalesTrack® Weekly for the 12-week time period ended September 30, 2012. Included in this segment are the top 15 sandwich and QSR burger chain competitors. We believe the same-store sales increases we’ve experienced over the last eight quarters demonstrate our ability to continue to drive sustainable sales and market share growth at the Jack in the Box brand.
“Qdoba’s same-store sales in the fourth quarter increased 0.8 percent for company restaurants and 0.4 percent system-wide, slightly below our expectations. Importantly, company restaurant operating margin at Qdoba improved to 15.5 percent in the fourth quarter from 13.9 percent in the year-ago quarter,” Lang said.
Consolidated restaurant operating margin was 15.1 percent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with 13.5 percent of sales in the year-ago quarter. This was lower than the company’s internal expectations due primarily to higher utilities and repairs and maintenance costs.
Food and packaging costs in the quarter were 150 basis points lower than prior year. The decrease resulted from the benefit of price increases as well as a greater proportion of Qdoba company restaurants which combined to more than offset commodity inflation. Overall commodity costs were up less than 1 percent in the quarter.
Payroll and employee benefits costs were 40 basis points lower than the year-ago quarter, reflecting leverage from same-store sales increases, the benefits of refranchising Jack in the Box restaurants, and the favorable impact of recent acquisitions of Qdoba franchised restaurants.
Occupancy and other costs increased 30 basis points in the fourth quarter due primarily to higher utilities and repairs and maintenance costs, higher debit card fees and higher depreciation expense related to the Jack in the Box re-image program. These increases were partially offset by leverage from same-store sales increases, the benefits of refranchising Jack in the Box restaurants, and the favorable impact of recent acquisitions of Qdoba franchised restaurants.
SG&A expense for the fourth quarter increased by $0.6 million and was 15.2 percent of revenues as compared to 14.6 percent in the prior year quarter. The increase in SG&A was attributable primarily to higher incentive compensation accruals, increased G&A related to Qdoba growth, and higher pension and pre-opening costs which were partially offset by lower advertising and overhead costs resulting from the company’s refranchising strategy. Mark-to-market adjustments on investments supporting the company’s non-qualified retirement plans positively impacted SG&A by $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to a negative impact of $4.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Gains on the sale of 42 company-operated Jack in the Box restaurants to franchisees totaled $10.2 million in the fourth quarter, or approximately $0.16 per diluted share, compared with $22.2 million, or approximately $0.30 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter from the sale of 106 restaurants. For fiscal 2012, gains on the sale of 97 company-operated restaurants to franchisees totaled $29.1 million, or approximately $0.44 per diluted share, compared with $61.1 million, or approximately $0.78 per diluted share in fiscal 2011 from the sale of 332 company-operated restaurants. Total proceeds related to refranchising for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 were $19.1 million and $48.3 million, respectively.
The tax rate for fiscal 2012 was 32.7 percent versus 36.3 percent for fiscal 2011. The tax rate for fiscal 2012 was lower than the company’s most recent guidance due primarily to the market performance of insurance investment products used to fund certain non-qualified retirement plans. Changes in the cash value of the insurance products are not deductible or taxable.
The company repurchased approximately 883,000 shares of its common stock in the fourth quarter of 2012 at an average price of $26.15 per share for an aggregate cost of $23.1 million. In October 2012, the company repurchased approximately 985,000 shares of its common stock at an average price of $27.26 per share for an aggregate cost of $26.9 million, leaving $50.0 million remaining under a $100 million stock-buyback program authorized by the company’s board of directors in November 2011 that expires in November 2013. In November 2012, the company’s board of directors authorized an additional $100 million stock-buyback program that expires in November 2014.
Earlier this month, the company announced the completion of a new five-year $600 million senior credit facility, comprised of a $400 million revolving credit facility and a $200 million term loan. Under the terms of the new agreement, the interest rate has been lowered by 50 basis points and can range from LIBOR plus 175 to 225 basis points with no floor, with the current spread at 200 basis points. The agreement also provides for up to $500 million for stock repurchases and the potential payment of cash dividends.
Seven new Jack in the Box restaurants opened in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, including two franchised locations, compared with 10 new restaurants opened system-wide during the same quarter last year, of which six were franchised.
In the fourth quarter, 24 Qdoba restaurants opened, including 12 franchised locations, versus 20 new restaurants in the year-ago quarter, of which 12 were franchised.
At September 30, 2012, the company’s system total comprised 2,250 Jack in the Box restaurants, including 1,703 franchised locations, and 627 Qdoba restaurants, including 311 franchised locations.
The following guidance and underlying assumptions reflect the company’s current expectations for the first quarter ending January 20, 2013, and the fiscal year ending September 29, 2013. Fiscal 2013 is a 52-week year, with 16 weeks in the first quarter, and 12 weeks in each of the second, third and fourth quarters.
First quarter fiscal year 2013 guidance
Same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 1 to 2 percent at Jack in the Box company restaurants versus a 5.3 percent increase in the year-ago quarter.
Same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 1 to 2 percent at Qdoba company restaurants versus a 3.5 percent increase in the year-ago quarter.
Fiscal year 2013 guidance
Same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 2 to 3 percent at Jack in the Box company restaurants.
Same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 2 to 3 percent at Qdoba company restaurants.
Overall commodity costs are expected to increase by approximately 2 to 3 percent for the full year.
Restaurant operating margin for the full year is expected to range from approximately 15.5 to 16.0 percent, depending on same-store sales and commodity inflation.
SG&A as a percentage of revenue is expected to be in the mid-14 percent range as compared to 14.7% in fiscal 2012. G&A as a percentage of system-wide sales is expected to decline to approximately 4.3% in fiscal 2013 from 4.6% in fiscal 2012.
Impairment and other charges as a percentage of revenue are expected to be approximately 50 to 70 basis points, excluding restructuring charges.
The company will no longer provide guidance with respect to refranchising gains or proceeds.
20 to 25 new Jack in the Box restaurants are expected to open, including approximately 10 company locations.
70 to 85 new Qdoba restaurants are expected to open, of which approximately 40 to 45 are expected to be company locations.
Capital expenditures are expected to be $95 to $105 million.
The tax rate is expected to be approximately 37 to 38 percent.
Operating earnings per share, which the company defines as diluted earnings per share from continuing operations on a GAAP basis excluding restructuring charges and gains from refranchising, are expected to range from $1.45 to $1.60 in fiscal 2013 as compared to operating earnings per share of $1.20 in fiscal 2012.
Diluted earnings per share includes approximately $0.04 of incentive payments to Jack in the Box franchisees in fiscal 2013 to complete the installation of new signage as compared to $0.11 in fiscal 2012 to complete the re-image program.
Long-term goals (2014 to 2016)
The company today provided an update to the long-term goals that were introduced in February 2012. The company expects:
Same-store sales growth of 2 to 3 percent annually at Jack in the Box company restaurants and 3 to 4 percent annually at Qdoba company restaurants.
Restaurant operating margin of 16 to 16.5 percent beginning in fiscal 2014.
G&A of 3.5 to 4.0 percent of consolidated system-wide sales beginning in fiscal 2014.
Jack in the Box system new unit growth of approximately 2 percent per year.
Qdoba company new unit growth of approximately 15 percent annualized and franchise unit growth of 30 to 40 restaurants per year.
Operating earnings per share of approximately $2.00 beginning in fiscal 2014.
The company will host a conference call for financial analysts and investors on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, beginning at 8:30 a.m. PT (11:30 a.m. ET). The conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet via the Jack in the Box website. To access the live call through the Internet, log onto the Investors section of the Jack in the Box Inc. website at http://investors.jackinthebox.com at least 15 minutes prior to the event in order to download and install any necessary audio software. A replay of the call will be available through the Jack in the Box Inc. corporate website for 21 days, beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m. PT on November 20.
About Jack in the Box Inc.
Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK), based in San Diego, is a restaurant company that operates and franchises Jack in the Box® restaurants, one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states. Additionally, through a wholly owned subsidiary, the company operates and franchises Qdoba Mexican Grill®, a leader in fast-casual dining, with more than 600 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia. For more information on Jack in the Box and Qdoba, including franchising opportunities, visit www.jackinthebox.com or www.qdoba.com.
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