Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE: CMG)
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill were up $71.28, or 13.54% to change hands at $597.60 as of 2:15 p.m. ET after the fast-casual restaurant chain posted impressive adjusted earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter of 2018.
Chipotle reported earnings late Wednesday that showed a 10% jump in revenue thanks in large part to its new restaurants openings, and a 6.1% sales jump in restaurants open for at least 12 months. The company has been laser-focused on seamless digital orders and menu innovation under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer, Brian Niccol.
Shares of Chipotle have rallied around 65% since Mr. Niccol joined the company on March 5, 2018. Nick Setyan, analyst at Wedbush reiterated his underperform rating for CMG stock earlier this week, but raised his price target to $440.
Digital sales accounted for 10.9% of companywide revenue in 2018. Chipotle employs 70,000 people in more than 2,450 restaurants located in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The company opened a total of 137 new restaurants last year.
CMG Earnings & Outlook
Chipotle earned $32 million, or $1.15 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2018, versus $43.8 million, or $1.55 per share, in the same period last year. Earnings, adjusted for special items, came to $48.1 million, or $1.72 per share, surpassing analyst estimates of $1.37 per share based on figures compiled by Refinitiv.
Revenue stood at $1.2 billion, up 10% year-over-year, while analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting revenue of $1.23 billion. Digital orders jumped 65.9% in the fourth quarter, accounting for 12.9%, or $158.6 million of total revenue.
Looking ahead, the company said it intends to open 140 to 155 new restaurants this year. Chipotle also expects comparable-restaurant sales growth to be in the mid-single digits.
Chipotle CEO Comments
“I’m very pleased to report strong fourth quarter results with 6.1% comparable restaurant sales growth that included 2% transaction growth. For the full year, Chipotle’s average unit volumes exceeded $2 million with digital sales surpassing half a billion dollars,” said Niccol.
“The growth acceleration this quarter gives us confidence that our strategy is working. When we connect with guests through great operations, relevant marketing focused on Chipotle’s great taste and real ingredients, and provide more convenient access, they respond enthusiastically.”
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc Profile
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. As of September 30, 2018, it operated 2,424 Chipotle restaurants in the United States, as well as 37 international Chipotle restaurants. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Newport Beach, California. – Yahoo Finance