Something Good Is Blending at Jamba

Jamba (NAS: JMBA) is doing better than it thought.

The 773-unit smoothie chain is boosting its guidance this morning. Jamba now sees comps at its company-owned locations climbing 4% to 6% this fiscal year. Its earlier outlook called for same-store sales to grow by just 3% to 4%. Jamba's also juicing up its margins, targeting 20% to 23% in adjusted operating profit margin, up slightly from its previous 19% to 22% margin forecast.

Companies raise their outlooks all the time. What makes this special is that Jamba isn't boosting projections it issued several months ago. The blender baron's earlier guidance was issued just nine trading days ago.

Yes, it was less than two weeks ago that Jamba delivered blowout quarterly results with a seemingly rosy forecast that has proven to be conservative in retrospect.

We already knew that the unseasonably warm end to the winter season was picking favorites in the beverage space. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NAS: GMCR) warned that sales of its seasonally volatile hot cocoa and cider Keurig K-Cups tailed off quickly earlier this year. That report was followed a week later by better-than-expected quarterly reports out of Jamba and home-based soft drink specialist SodaStream (NAS: SODA) .

The verdict was in. Cool drinks were in. Warm beverages were out.

It's not much of a surprise to see McDonald's (NYS: MCD) promoting its new Cherry Berry Chiller this month in its latest wave of TV commercials. Starbucks (NAS: SBUX) probably wouldn't have scored a 7% pop in comparable-store sales in its latest quarter if it wasn't for its popular coffee line backed by its cool Vivanno smoothies and Frappuccino beverages.

But it's not just the weather playing into Jamba's hands.

"Our new fresh squeezed juice blends along with increased attachment, the deepening of nutritional expertise available to our consumers and systems to improve productivity in our stores are all contributing to our success," CEO James White notes in this morning's release.

The key phrase there is "increased attachment," which means that folks coming in for a smoothie or a fresh juice are tacking on additional items from Jamba's growing menu of non-beverage items.

Jamba's heating up, and it's not just because patrons are cooling down.

Blended just right
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At the time this article was published The Motley Fool owns shares of SodaStream International and Starbucks.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of SodaStream International, McDonald's, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Starbucks.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a lurking gator position in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended writing covered calls on Starbucks. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does own shares in Jamba and Green Mountain. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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