SG&A expense for the first quarter increased by $1.6 million and was 14.5 percent of revenues as compared to 14.4 percent in the prior year quarter. Mark-to-market adjustments on investments supporting the company’s non-qualified retirement plans positively impacted SG&A by $1.3 million in the first quarter as compared to a positive impact of $3.2 million in last year’s first quarter, resulting in a year-over-year increase in SG&A of $1.9 million. The increase in SG&A was also due to higher incentive compensation, increased G&A related to Qdoba growth, and higher pension costs which were partially offset by the benefit of the company’s restructuring activities as well as lower advertising and overhead costs resulting from the Jack in the Box refranchising strategy.
Impairment and other charges decreased $1.1 million in the quarter compared to a year ago primarily due to income of $2.1 million recognized in 2013 in connection with the resolution of two eminent domain matters involving Jack in the Box restaurants.
Gains on the sale of company-operated Jack in the Box restaurants were $0.7 million in the 2013 quarter, or approximately $0.01 per diluted share, which primarily represented additional proceeds received as a result of the extension of underlying franchise and lease agreements for previously sold restaurants. This compares to gains of $1.1 million, or approximately $0.02 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
The tax rate for the first quarter of 2013 was 30.2 percent versus 34.3 percent for the first quarter of 2012. The lower tax rate in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was due primarily to legislation that retroactively reinstated Work Opportunity Tax Credits, as well as the market performance of insurance investment products used to fund certain non-qualified retirement plans. Changes in the cash value of the insurance products are not deductible or taxable. The company now expects its full year tax rate to be approximately 35 to 36 percent as a result of the reinstated tax credits.