Early this morning, fast-food concern Jack in the Box reported that its fourth-quarter net income dropped 19% to $27 million, or 43 cents per share, from $33.2 million (46 cents per share) in the year-ago period. But these numbers don't show the full story ... last year's number included a 12-cent benefit from refranchising the company's Hawaii locations.

The good news is that analysts were expecting the restaurateur to earn just 39 cents per share.

Quarterly sales for the chain rose 5% to $678.4 million. Looking ahead, JBX expects to bank between $1.98 and $2.06 per share during fiscal 2008. What's more, the firm sees 12% to 15% net growth per year from 2009 through 2011.

In midday trading activity, JBX has jumped more than 18% to become one of the best-performing stocks trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. In terms of percentage gains, JBX currently ranks second on the Big Board. This burst higher has occurred on heavy volume and has taken the stock above its 80-day moving average for the first time since October 11. The shares have also inched above their 10-week and 20-week moving averages. Since mid-June. JBX has managed just 1 weekly close atop these intermediate-term trendlines.