Gang, this "where there is smoke there is fire" thing is intriguing what not? Now it is Burger King (after CKE restaurants last year at this time). All the talk swirling around the possibility of more private equity activity in the QSR sector has got to have some significance. And JACK is the best situated of the group for some serious money people to be fascinated by the prospect of a huge payoff on a 3-5 year timetable. Check the balance sheet of JACK compared to others in the group,clearly superior. Check the PE ratio and PEG metric (5-year) of JACK, clearly superior. Check the expansion potential, for both JACK in the U.S. and Qdoba wherever in the world, clearly superior.
JACK does not want to sell out, believe me. Management has a three year plan that should see enough of a cap-shrink to offset the refranchising effect (which itself is a key to this company's longterm viability). Virtually no analyst understands this dynamic at work and that is why JACK is such a steal at this point and itself vulnerable to some sort of a tender offer at any time. I personally do not want to see a fight just now for control of JACK. I prefer the status quo and have faith in this really good management team. I want to be the private equity type who waits out the higher potential down the line. I do not want to sell my shares to somebody now at a price characterized as a "steal."
Jack in the Box does mostly drive through business, about 70%. So they have smaller stores because of that, and a higher return on equity than the other QSR companies. Qdoba, in the right hands say like a YUM Brands, could be another Chipotle in a couple years. It has to be part of the buyout package. I think YUM should buy the company in a stock transaction for 30. a share which is nondilutive to them. They get the two concepts and can run with them in the U.S. because JACK is in only 18 states, and wherever in the world with Qdoba. Big J