Jack in the Box operates 2,255 quick-service restaurants. Photo courtesy of Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box operates 2,255 quick-service restaurants. Photo courtesy of Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box Inc. reported its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, ended Jan. 20, with operating earnings per share at $1.35 compared with $1.23 the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for the quarter came in at $290.8 million, down from $294.5 million in 2018.

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Jack in the Box operates 2,255 quick-service restaurants. Photo courtesy of Jack in the Box Inc.

Net earnings were $34.1 million, or $1.19 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2019, compared with $12.2 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $83.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. The same quarter in 2018 came in at $85.4 million. EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

The company continued its dividend of 40 cents a share.

Analysts estimated adjusted earnings for Jack in the Box would be $1.28 a share on revenue of $275.3 million.

Last week, according to Restaurant Business, Kearny Mesa-headquartered Jack in the Box’s stock price had fallen by more than 5 percent amid concerns of the company’s growth. A report on DebtWire stated potential buyers of the restaurant chain were second-guessing themselves as a result of its feud with its franchisees and its asking price. The same report stated Jack’s enterprise value is an estimated $3 billion. After Q1 results were revealed, the Jack in the Box shares rose 4.1 percent in after-hours trading.

Late last year, the national Jack in the Box Franchisee Association asked for the termination of Jack in the Box CEO Leonard “Lenny” Comma, and the current leadership team, following a vote of “no confidence.” A few weeks later, New York-based hedge fund Jana Partners disclosed it had trimmed its holdings in Jack in the Box, down to 1,831,007 shares from 2,050,325 shares during the second quarter. In November, Jack in the Box announced plans to lay off 66 corporate employees in January, partially due to contractual agreements to support Qdoba terminating at the end the year.

Jack in the Box has been exploring sales options since late last year. According to a news release, this could include a sale of the company or executing on the company’s plans to have a new capital structure in place by the end of the first half of fiscal 2019 to increase its leverage. The company also said it was in talks with potential buyers, but it has not disclosed any suitors.

At the top of this year, Jack in the Box extended its deadline to March 15 to appoint two new independent directors to its board, the company said in a Jan. 4 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Travel & Hospitality reporter Mariel Concepcion can be reached at mconcepcion@sdbj.com or 858-634-4625.

Editor's note: This version of this story corrects errors in the original version.