Home Mutual Funds Chipotle Stock Surges to a Fresh Record as Higher Prices and Foot Traffic Boost Earnings

Chipotle Stock Surges to a Fresh Record as Higher Prices and Foot Traffic Boost Earnings

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Key Takeaways

  • Chipotle shares surged to a record high in intraday trading Wednesday after the fast casual chain beat profit and sales estimates for the fourth quarter.
  • The company’s comparable store sales were up 8.4% from a year ago, driven by a 7.4% increase in foot traffic and a 1% rise in the average check.
  • Chipotle also got a boost from the addition of 121 restaurants at 110 locations in the period.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) shares jumped over 9% to reach an all-time high in intraday trading Wednesday after the fast casual chain posted better-than-expected results as it benefited from higher prices and foot traffic.

Chipotle reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $10.36, with revenue up 15.4% from a year ago to $2.52 billion. Both exceeded forecasts.

Comparable store sales rose 8.4%, driven by a 7.4% increase in foot traffic and a 1% rise in the average check. Chipotle also got a boost from the addition of 121 restaurants at 110 locations in the period.

The company said that food, beverage, and packaging expenses were up 40 basis points (bps) to 29.7% of total revenue, as it faced higher beef, produce, and queso costs. However, it pointed out that those gains were partially offset by higher menu prices, and to a lesser extent, lower paper costs. 

The company said it expects full-year comparable store sales growth in the mid-single-digit percentage range, and to add 285 to 315 new restaurants.

Shares of Chipotle were up 9.3% at $2,720.86 per share as of about 2:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. They’ve gained more than 57% over the past year.

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