Jack in the Box shares fall on weak 2Q revenue

Jack in the Box shares down on weak 2nd-quarter revenue and RBC downgrade

Associated Press

Shares of Jack in the Box Inc. fell Thursday after the fast-food operator reported disappointing fiscal second-quarter revenue and was downgraded by at least one analyst.

THE SPARK: The restaurant operator reported late Wednesday that It earned $13.3 million, or 29 cents per share, for the quarter. That compares with $21.6 million, or 48 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. It made 33 cents per share on an adjusted basis from continuing operations in the recent quarter.

Revenue slipped to $355.6 million from $366.5 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected 31 cents per share on revenue of $359.1 million.

Jack in the Box also said it expects earnings from continuing operations of $1.55 and $1.65 per share for the full year. Analysts forecast $1.61 per share.

THE BIG PICTURE: The company, based in San Diego, has more than 2,200 of its namesake restaurants across the country. It also franchises Qdoba Mexican Grill sites across North America.

THE ANALYSIS: RBC Capital Markets analyst Larry Miller downgraded Jack in the Box to "Outperform" from "Top Pick."

Miller said in a research note that the downgrade is not a reflection of the company's second-quarter results or its future prospects. Rather the analyst said that the company's shares have nearly doubled since the start of 2012, and it relies primarily on Qdoba for future growth, which may take some time.

Miller raised his price target on the company's stock from $38 to $45.

SHARE ACTION: Shares fell $1.89, or 4.9 percent, to $36.44 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $22.97 to $38.74.

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