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Jamba falls after 4Q revenue misses Street view

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Jamba shares fell more than 5 percent Wednesday, a day after the fruit smoothie company reported fourth-quarter revenue that missed analysts' expectations.

THE SPARK: Jamba Inc. said Tuesday that its quarterly revenue was basically flat at $44.2 million. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $45.6 million.

The Emeryville, Calif., company also posted a weak gain in a key retail measure, saying that revenue at stores open at least a year edged up less than 1 percent. That is a key indicator of financial performance since it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed sites.

THE BIG PICTURE: Jamba has been struggling with weaker sales and the costs of operating its namesake smoothie sites. As a result, it is shifting more of its stores to franchise operations, trying new store formats and branching into other related branded products, like fruit chips.

THE ANALYSIS: Kurt Frederick of Wedbush said in a client note that Jamba's quarterly performance was relatively in line with his estimates. The analyst is optimistic about the company's future, citing plans for kids' meals, limited menu Smoothie Stations, drive-thrus and juice bars. Frederick said he is particularly intrigued by the juice bars, believing they could make a significant sales contribution and will face less seasonality than smoothies.

The analyst kept an "Outperform" rating on Jamba and boosted the company's price target to $3.50 from $3.

SHARE ACTION: Jamba fell 16 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $2.70 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $1.79 to $2.94.

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