Jack in the Box Profit Up Despite Higher Food Costs

Jack in the Box Inc. (JBX) Wednesday reported higher quarterly earnings, as improved sales on new products like a chicken ciabatta sandwich offset higher beef and produce prices, sparking a 7.5 percent jump in its shares.

Net income for the fiscal second quarter ended April 17 rose to $20.7 million, or 55 cents per share, from $18.7 million, or 51 cents per share, a year ago.

Wall Street analysts had expected earnings of between 49 cents and 50 cents per share, with an average view of 50 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 11.5 percent to $577 million. Sales at its namesake restaurants open at least a year rose 3.1 percent, higher than the 1 percent increase the company had forecast.

The company, which has more than 2,000 restaurants and franchises in 17 states, said compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley guidelines for corporate accountability and other expenses cut 5 cents a share from earnings.

For the year, Jack in the Box raised its earnings forecast 3 cents a share to $2.46. Analysts on average forecast $2.43 a share for the fast-food chain.

For the third quarter, the company forecast 60 cents a share, while analysts, on average forecast 63 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Jack in the Box shares were up $2.80 at $39.50 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange (search).