San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. reported earnings from continuing operations of $37.1 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, for the first quarter ended Jan. 18, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $33 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The company reported first quarter net earnings of $35.8 million compared with $32.3 million in the like quarter of 2014.

The company reported first quarter revenue of $468.62 million compared with $450.1 million the like quarter of the previous year.

Operating earnings per share, a non-GAAP measure which the company defines as diluted earnings per share from continuing operations on a GAAP basis excluding restructuring charges and gains or losses from refranchising, were $0.93 in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 compared with $0.75 in the like quarter of the prior year.

“We had a great first quarter, with a 24 percent increase in operating earnings per share resulting from better than expected same-store sales growth at both Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Grill, margin expansion and a 10 percent reduction in our diluted share count as we continued to use our growing free cash flow to return cash to shareholders,” said Lenny Comma, Jack’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Same store sales systemwide for Jack in the Box increased 4.4 percent compared with 1.9 percent in the like quarter of 2014, the company said.

Qdoba same-store sales in the first quarter increased 14 percent systemwide compared with 2.3 percent for the like quarter of the previous year, the company reported.

For second quarter 2015 guidance, the company projected same-store sales increase of approximately 5 to 7 percent at Jack in the Box company restaurants versus a 0.9 percent increase in the year-ago quarter.

For second quarter guidance at Qdoba, same-store sales increase of approximately 7 to 9 percent projected at company restaurants versus a 7.2 percent increase in the year-ago quarter, the company said.

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