Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Jack in the Box posted Q1 fiscal 2017 earnings of $1.18, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.8%. Still, earnings were up 27% year over year (y/y) on reduced expenses and lower share count. Revenues of $487.9 million also missed the consensus mark by over 2% but increased 3.6% y/y. We believe, Jack in the Box’s premium and value offerings along with increased focus on breakfast menu to combat competition bode well. Increased focus on franchising should also drive long-term growth. Apart from menu innovation and remodeling efforts, the company expects catering, delivery and marketing initiatives to boost comps at the Qdoba brand. Shares of the company have also outpaced the Zacks categorized Retail-Restaurants industry in the past year. Yet, costs related to extensive marketing might keep profits under pressure. Also, a choppy industry backdrop leading to decelerating comps growth and limited international presence remain potent headwinds.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on JACK. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $125.00 price target on shares of Jack in the Box in a report on Wednesday, March 8th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Jack in the Box in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Jack in the Box from $96.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Cowen and Company cut shares of Jack in the Box from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $125.00 to $100.00 in a report on Friday, February 24th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Jack in the Box in a report on Friday, February 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Jack in the Box has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $108.23.

Analyst Recommendations for Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK)

Shares of Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) opened at 99.54 on Friday. Jack in the Box has a 52-week low of $61.78 and a 52-week high of $113.30. The company has a market capitalization of $3.15 billion, a PE ratio of 26.09 and a beta of 0.55. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $102.36 and its 200 day moving average price is $102.39.

Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The company reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.06. The company earned $487.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $499.40 million. Jack in the Box had a negative return on equity of 83.17% and a net margin of 7.76%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Jack in the Box will post $4.37 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 20th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 7th were issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 3rd. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.61%. Jack in the Box’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.96%.

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In related news, Director David Goebel sold 1,376 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.83, for a total transaction of $149,750.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 20,665 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,248,971.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Vanessa C. Fox sold 1,780 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.63, for a total transaction of $168,441.40. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,009 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $190,111.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 6,038 shares of company stock valued at $618,940. 2.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of JACK. Ancora Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Jack in the Box during the fourth quarter valued at about $100,000. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Jack in the Box by 109.1% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,306 shares of the company’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 15,681 shares during the period. Tyers Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Jack in the Box during the fourth quarter valued at about $174,000. Flinton Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Jack in the Box during the fourth quarter valued at about $222,000. Finally, Diligent Investors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Jack in the Box during the fourth quarter valued at about $226,000. 98.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Jack in the Box Company Profile

Jack in the Box Inc operates and franchises Jack in the Box quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and Qdoba Mexican Eats (Qdoba) fast-casual restaurants. The Company operates in two segments: Jack in the Box and Qdoba restaurant operations. Qdoba is a fast-casual Mexican food brand in the United States, offering food items including burritos, tacos, salads, and quesadillas.

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