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Jamba Ventures into Mexican Market

Zacks Equity Research

Jamba Juice Company, a subsidiary of Jamba Inc. (JMBA), is planning a massive expansion in Mexico by launching 80 Jamba Juice units over the next 10 years. In this regard, Jamba and Casa Operadora de Franquicias MAV S.A.P.I de C.V (MAV) has struck a franchise development contract.

The company is slated to unveil the first Mexican Jamba Juice store by the end of 2013. Management has chosen Mexico in order to capture increasing opportunities in its growing beverage market. This association will help the company further enhance the number of its franchise stores.

At the end of 2012, Jamba owns 774 stores, of which 473 were franchised and 301 Company-owned. In 2013, Jamba plans to set up 60 to 80 new stores in the international locations. Currently, 400 Jamba units are under development in South Korea, Canada, the Philippines and Mexico.

Jamba has always remained focused on expansion and expects accelerated growth in both core existing markets as well as new geographic areas. In January, Jamba Juice announced its entry into Missouri and Kansas markets in association with ShowMe Smoothie, LLC. Per the deal, 15 Jamba Juice stores will be launched over the next nine years.

Jamba reported a loss of 9 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2012; a penny better than the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also ahead of the year-ago quarter’s loss of 15 cents per share. The company’s growing operational efficiency was primarily responsible for the bottom line improvement during the quarter. Total revenues in the quarter remained almost flat year over year at $44.2 million.

Jamba currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another restaurateur Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc.’s (RRGB), adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012 were way ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the year-ago quarter’s earnings. Red Robin Gourmet currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Other restaurant companies like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (KKD) and Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (BKW)  both with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) are expected to perform well going forward.

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