Jack in the Box posts higher 1Q profit

Company sees strong sales return in key California market

Jack in the Box Inc. said Wednesday that strong sales in California, service improvements and menu upgrades drove a nearly 34-percent increase in first-quarter net income.

For the quarter ended Jan. 23, Jack in the Box reported net income of $32.4 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with $24.2 million, or 43 cents per share, for the first quarter a year ago. Analysts had estimated earnings of about 46 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Refranchising gains &mdash

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