SAN DIEGO – Jack in the Box Inc.’s fiscal 2010 net earnings totaled $70.2 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $131.0 million, or $2.27 per diluted share, in fiscal 2009. Net earnings of $4.0 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, were tallied for the fourth quarter ended Oct. 3, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $40.6 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

"Jack in the Box company same-store sales declined 4% in the fourth quarter and continued to be impacted by high unemployment in our major markets for our key customer demographics,” said Linda Lang, chairman, CEO and president. “We believe the investments we have made around service consistency and making noticeable quality improvements to some of our signature products are beginning to resonate with our guests.”

Food and packaging costs in the fourth quarter were 90 basis points higher than prior year. Overall commodity costs were approximately 3% higher in the quarter, driven primarily by higher beef, cheese and pork costs which were partially offset by lower costs for poultry, shortening and bakery products.

The chain's fourth-quarter advertising supported a value-priced combo meal featuring the new Jack's Really Big Chicken Sandwich. The sandwich includes two breaded chicken patties, lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese and mayo-onion sauce served on a jumbo bakery bun. The combo meal, which was priced at $3.99, featured the new sandwich, a small fountain drink and small order of seasoned curly fries.