A new Jack in the Box Restaurant in Texas. Courtesy of the company
A new Jack in the Box Restaurant in Texas. Courtesy of the company

San Diego-based Jack in the Box raised its dividend by 50 percent after reporting a 46 percent increase in earnings in its second fiscal quarter.

The fast food restaurant company reported net income of $23.0 million, or 60 cents per share, on $358 million in sales in the quarter ended April 12, compared to $15.8 million, or 37 cents per share, on $341 million in sales a year ago.

“We’re pleased with our second quarter performance, which culminated in a 35 percent increase in operating earnings per share resulting from strong same-store sales growth and margin expansion at both Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Grill,” said Lenny Comma, chairman and chief executive officer.

The company’s board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 30 cents per share payable on June 12 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 1. The previous dividend was 20 cents.

“We continued to use our growing free cash flow to return cash to shareholders, and today we announced a 50 percent increase in our quarterly dividend, demonstrating the confidence we have in our business model,” Comma said.

The earnings results and the dividend increase were announced after the close of markets on the East Coast, but the company’s stock fell by half a percent in after-hours trading. The stock price has nearly doubled over the past year.

Jack in the Box is one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states and Guam. It also operates and franchises Qdoba Mexican Grill, fast-casual dining concept with more than 600 restaurants in the United States and Canada.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.