Jack in the Box reports fiscal Q1 net earnings of US$20.7M, up 73% from year-ago period as revenue rises 1.7% to US$465.5M

SAN DIEGO , February 20, 2013 (press release) – Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) today reported earnings from continuing operations of $23.9 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended January 20, 2013, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $12.0 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

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 $0.54 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $0.25 per share in the prior year quarter. Gains from refranchising contributed approximately $0.01 per diluted share for the quarter as compared with approximately $0.02 per diluted share in the prior year quarter.

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 the first quarter of 2013, the company continued to review and refine its organization to create a structure that more efficiently supports its business model. As a result, restructuring charges of $0.8 million, or approximately $0.01 per diluted share, were recorded during the first quarter of 2013. These charges are included in “impairment and other charges, net” in the accompanying consolidated statements of earnings.

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 an after-tax charge totaling $3.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, which reduced diluted net earnings per share by approximately $0.07. 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 2.1 percent and system same-store sales increased 1.9 percent in the first quarter. Jack in the Box system same-store sales growth for the quarter exceeded that of the QSR sandwich segment for the comparable period, according to The NPD Group’s SalesTrack Weekly for the 16-week time period ended January 20, 2013. Included in this segment are the top 15 sandwich and QSR burger chain competitors.

“Qdoba same-store sales in the first quarter increased 1.5 percent for company restaurants, driven by transaction and catering growth. One of our key priorities for 2013 is to drive traffic at Qdoba, and we believe our promotional efforts aimed at differentiating the brand resulted in the improvement in traffic and sales trends.

“Numerous companies in both the restaurant and retail space have reported some weakening in sales in the last part of January and first half of February which has been attributed to higher payroll taxes, delayed tax refunds and the rapid increase in gas prices over the last month. Our sales guidance for the second quarter reflects the softness we’ve seen thus far in the quarter and the uncertainty surrounding consumer spending,” Lang said.

Consolidated restaurant operating margin improved by 220 basis points to 15.7 percent of sales in the first quarter of 2013, compared with 13.5 percent of sales in the year-ago quarter. Restaurant operating margin increased 320 basis points to 17.1% of sales for Jack in the Box and decreased 40 basis points to 11.6% of sales for Qdoba.

Food and packaging costs in the quarter were 130 basis points lower than prior year. The decrease resulted from the benefit of price increases, favorable product mix at Jack in the Box, and a greater proportion of Qdoba company restaurants which combined to more than offset slight commodity inflation and the impact of promotional activity at Qdoba. 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 favorable impact of recent acquisitions of Qdoba franchised restaurants, and a modest benefit from refranchising Jack in the Box restaurants.

Occupancy and other costs decreased 50 basis points in the first quarter due primarily to leverage from same-store sales increases and the favorable impact of recent acquisitions of Qdoba franchised restaurants.

SG&A expense for the first quarter increased by $1.6 million and was 14.5 percent of revenues as compared to 14.4 percent in the prior year quarter. Mark-to-market adjustments on investments supporting the company’s non-qualified retirement plans positively impacted SG&A by $1.3 million in the first quarter as compared to a positive impact of $3.2 million in last year’s first quarter, resulting in a year-over-year increase in SG&A of $1.9 million. The increase in SG&A was also due to higher incentive compensation, increased G&A related to Qdoba growth, and higher pension costs which were partially offset by the benefit of the company’s restructuring activities as well as lower advertising and overhead costs resulting from the Jack in the Box refranchising strategy.

Impairment and other charges decreased $1.1 million in the quarter compared to a year ago primarily due to income of $2.1 million recognized in 2013 in connection with the resolution of two eminent domain matters involving Jack in the Box restaurants.

Gains on the sale of company-operated Jack in the Box restaurants were $0.7 million in the 2013 quarter, or approximately $0.01 per diluted share, which primarily represented additional proceeds received as a result of the extension of underlying franchise and lease agreements for previously sold restaurants. This compares to gains of $1.1 million, or approximately $0.02 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The tax rate for the first quarter of 2013 was 30.2 percent versus 34.3 percent for the first quarter of 2012. The lower tax rate in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was due primarily to legislation that retroactively reinstated Work Opportunity Tax Credits, as well as 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 now expects its full year tax rate to be approximately 35 to 36 percent as a result of the reinstated tax credits.

The company repurchased approximately 985,000 shares of its common stock in the first quarter at an average price of $27.26 per share for an aggregate cost of $26.9 million, leaving $50 million remaining under a $100 million stock-buyback program authorized by the company’s board of directors that expires in November 2013, and $100 million remaining under an authorization that expires in November 2014.

Restaurant openings

Nine new Jack in the Box restaurants opened in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, including six franchised locations, compared with 16 new restaurants opened system-wide during the same quarter last year, of which 11 were franchised.

In the first quarter, 17 Qdoba restaurants opened, including 14 franchised locations, versus 15 new restaurants in the year-ago quarter, of which 9 were franchised. The company also acquired 6 Qdoba restaurants from franchisees in the quarter.

At January 20, 2013, the company’s system total comprised 2,255 Jack in the Box restaurants, including 1,704 franchised locations, and 636 Qdoba restaurants, including 311 franchised locations.

Guidance

The following guidance and underlying assumptions reflect the company’s current expectations for the second quarter ending April 14, 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.

Second quarter fiscal year 2013 guidance

Same-store sales are expected to be approximately flat at Jack in the Box company restaurants versus a 5.6 percent increase in the year-ago quarter.

Same-store sales are expected to be flat to down 2 percent at Qdoba company restaurants versus a 3.8 percent increase in the year-ago quarter.

Fiscal year 2013 guidance

Same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 1.5 to 2.5 percent at Jack in the Box company restaurants.

Same-store sales are expected to increase approximately 1.0 to 2.0 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 no longer provides 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 35 to 36 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 now expected to range from $1.48 to $1.63 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.

Conference call

The company will host a conference call for financial analysts and investors on Thursday, February 21, 2013, 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 February 21.

About Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: 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 44 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. 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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