Jack in the Box Inc. said Monday that cost cuts and sales growth led to higher-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 2.
Net earnings rose 38 percent in the quarter, to $32 million, or 97 cents per share, from $23 million, or 64 cents per share, the previous year.
Same-store sales at San Diego-based Jack in the Box rose 2 percent systemwide, although the quarter included one more week than the same quarter a year ago. Same-store sales rose 0.8 percent at the company’s Qdoba Mexican Eats concept.
Revenue increased 12.5 percent, to $398.4 million, from $354.1 million the previous year.
“We were pleased that Jack in the Box system same-store sales outperformed sluggish industry trends,” CEO Lenny Comma said in a statement.
He called sales and traffic growth “solid” at Qdoba, but said that new unit openings hurt margins.
The company has been cutting costs, particularly general and administrative spending, as it sells company-owned Jack in the Box restaurants to franchisees.
Operating margins at Jack in the Box increased 70 basis points, to 21 percent of sales, due to lower food costs. Commodity costs at Jack in the Box fell 4 percent in the quarter, the company said. Commodity costs at Qdoba fell 3.4 percent.
Jack in the Box has 2,255 locations, 417 of which are company owned. Qdoba has 699 locations, 367 of which are company owned.