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3 Answers From Jamba, Inc. (JMBA): Starbucks Corporation (SBUX), McDonald’s Corporation (MCD)

Like its blended creations, Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA) served up mixed results for its latest quarter.

Revenue clocked in at $44.2 million, essentially flat with the prior year’s holiday quarter but short of the 4% advance that analysts were targeting.

Jamba Juice (JMBA)The problem this time was sluggish performance at the smoothie chain’s company-owned stores. Despite tacking on 45 more franchised stores over the past year — and overall comps rising 0.6% fueled by a 2.3% boost at franchise-owned Jamba Juice locations — company-owned store comps actually slipped 1.2%. This is the first time in two years that company-owned stores failed to generate positive comps.

The silver lining here is that Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA)’s net loss of $0.09 a share was less than Wall Street was targeting.

I had three questions going into the report. All three were answered, so let’s dive right in.

1. Can the positive comps keep coming?
The good news is that the systemwide streak of positive comps is still alive. Unfortunately for Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ:JMBA), the 1.2% decline at company-owned stores carries more weight than the 2.3% uptick at franchise locations. The franchise stores are greater in number, but they don’t shape the top line’s performance the way that the owned and operated smoothie shops do.

If you’re going to slip when it comes to comps, this is the time to do it. Smoothie sales are seasonal. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) — the two retail giants that have pushed into smoothies in recent years — can set aside their smoothie offerings to promote their warm coffee drinks during the wintry months, but Jamba’s left trying to sell icy fruit beverages at a time when warm comfort food is craved.

The news wasn’t good on this front, but it’s not too big of a deal.

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