UPDATE 2-Jack in the Box Q1 results beat Wall Street estimate

miércoles 20 de febrero de 2008 20:04 CET

(Adds details, share movement, analyst's comments)

By Sreerupa Mitra

BANGALORE Feb 20 (Reuters) - Hamburger chain Jack in the Box Inc JBX.N posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a rise in revenue on addition of new products to its menu, and raised the top end of its 2008 earnings forecast, sending its shares up more than 5 percent.

The company, whose products range from burgers and fries to salads, tacos, and breakfast items, said same-store sales rose 1.5 percent at its namesake restaurants for the first quarter.

Same-store sales at the San-Diego based chain were slightly hurt by the California rain storm in January, analyst Brian Moore of Wedbush Morgan Securities said by phone.

"The company has tremendous product momentum and I expect new products (like smoothies) to drive same-store sales growth," Moore added.

Jack in the Box launched several products such as sirloin steak melt, grilled chicken strips, chicken fajita pita and a value-priced combo meal, The Big Deal, in the first quarter.

The company, which competes with McDonald's Corp (MCD.N: Cotización), Burger King Holdings Inc BKC.N and Yum! Brands Inc (YUM.N: Cotización), plans to roll out three flavors of real fruit smoothies in partnership with Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Cotización) in the third quarter.

For the second quarter, the company sees a 1 percent to 2 percent rise in same-store sales at Jack in the Box company restaurants and a 3 percent to 5 percent increase at Qdoba system restaurants.   Continuación...