Should Jack in the Box Sell Out?

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Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) shares made a handy gain early on Monday after the troubled fast-food chain announced that it is exploring strategic and financing alternatives — or a sale of the company.

According to the board of directors and management team, the firm is exploring a range of strategic and financing alternatives to maximize shareholder value. Potential alternatives could include a sale of the company or executing on the company’s previously announced plans to increase its leverage.

Over the past 52 weeks, this stock is down about 22%, while the S&P 500 is down 2%. It’s worth pointing out that just two years ago this was a $110 stock, well above its current price level.

The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $93.57, implying upside of 16.5% from Friday’s closing price. Also, most of the analyst calls that have come out on this stock since November have been neutral.

Whether Jack in the Box pursues a sale and gets a good price is yet to be seen, but for now the board seems to be taking the right steps to put this company back on track for 2019.

Jack in the Box concluded in its release:

The Company’s Board has not set a timetable for the conclusion of this process nor has it made any decision related to any strategic or financing alternative at this time. The Company has had discussions with potential buyers; however, it noted that there can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic and financing alternatives will result in a transaction. That said, in the absence of a strategic transaction the Company remains committed to its previously communicated plan to have a new capital structure in place by the end of the first half of fiscal 2019. That capital structure could include, among other things, a securitization or bond issuance.

Shares of Jack in the Box closed Friday at $80.33, with a 52-week range of $75.09 to $104.75. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 6% at $85.00 in early trading indications Monday.

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