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Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) Q1 2024 Earnings

The logo of Chipotle Mexican Grill is seen in Manhattan, New York.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ expectations, fueled by higher traffic to its restaurants.

The stock rose 4% in extended trading.

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG:

  • Earnings per share: $13.37 adjusted vs. $11.68 expected
  • Revenue: $2.7 billion vs. $2.68 billion expected

Chipotle reported first-quarter net income of $359.3 million, or $13.01 per share, up from $291.6 million, or $10.50 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a 36-cent hit from increases to its legal reserves, the burrito chain earned $13.37 per share.

Net sales climbed 14.1% to $2.7 billion.

The company’s same-store sales rose 7%, topping StreetAccount estimates of 5.2%. Chipotle said traffic increased 5.4% from the year-ago period, while average check was up just 1.6%.

In February, CFO Jack Hartung told analysts that “unusually cold weather” hurt January sales. But demand likely rebounded in the rest of the quarter to offset the sluggish first month.

Chipotle has become the rare restaurant chain to report rising transactions despite higher menu prices. The company once again raised its prices in October, citing inflation. Others in the restaurant industry have turned to limited-time offers and deals to appeal to customers, particularly those with lower incomes.

The chain added 47 new locations to its footprint during the first quarter, inching closer to its long-term goal of doubling its total number of restaurants to reach 7,000 stores.

For the full year, Chipotle now anticipates same-store sales will grow by a mid-to-high single digit percentage, up from its prior range of a mid-single digit increase. The company reiterated its forecast of 285 to 315 new locations in 2024.

In March, Chipotle’s board approved a 50-for-1 stock split, one of the largest in the New York Stock Exchange’s history. The company is seeking shareholder approval at its annual meeting on June 6. If investors vote yes, the stock will start trading on a post-split basis on June 26.

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