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Ryan McQueeney

Jack in the Box (JACK) Defies Pre-Market Slump, Stock Soars on Earnings

JACK

Trades from $3

Despite a pre-market slump, shares of Jack in the Box (JACK - Free Report) were up over 5.7% in late afternoon trading Tuesday following the release of the company’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results after the closing bell Monday.

The fast food restaurant chain reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue, with adjusted EPS coming in at $1.03 per share and revenue coming in at $398.4 million. These figures beat our Zacks Consensus Estimates of 88 cents and $398.1 million, respectively.

Nevertheless, shares of JACK dropped about 3% in after-hours trading on Monday, and that slump continued into Tuesday morning. Investors seemed to be initially reacting to Jack in the Box’s relatively weak comparable-store sales; the chain saw comps growth of 0.5%, which was much lower than the 4.1% growth seen in the prior-year quarter.

Comparable-store sales growth at the company’s Qdoba restaurants was also sluggish. Odoba stores saw comps growth of 1.2% in the quarter, which was well below the comps growth of 6.1% that the brand reported in the year-ago period.

For fiscal 2017, the company expects comps to grow in the range of 2–3% at both Jack in the Box company-owned restaurants and Qdoba restaurants. Jack in the Box also announced its fiscal 2017 earnings guidance, and its expected EPS range of $4.55 to $4.75 compares decently to the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.71 per share.

JACK’s earnings results were mixed at best, and it’s not entirely clear what is driving this post-earnings rebound. Share prices are nearly breaking their 52-week high, which may be a surprise to investors still worried about the company’s comps growth and guidance.

The stock currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), but this ranking could move based on these earnings results. Right now, the stock also holds “A” grades in Growth and Momentum.

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