Chipotle Shares rise on Better-than-expected Quarterly Earnings

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) jumped more than 20 percent on Wednesday after the company reported revenue and earnings that beat analysts’ estimate.

Revenue rose 7.4 percent to $1.1 billion in the first quarter, in-line with analysts’ projection.

In the first quarter, net income was $59.4 million, or $2.13 per diluted share, compared to net income of $46.1 million, or $1.60 per diluted share a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated earnings of $1.57 per share.

Comparable sales for the quarter increased 2.2 percent, beating analysts’ estimate of 1.3 percent increase, according to StreetAccount.

The company said the growth in revenue was by new restaurant openings and to a lesser extent from an increase in comparable restaurant sales. The company opened 35 new restaurants during the quarter. While the increase in comparable sales was driven by an increase in average check and menu price hikes.

"Chipotle is a purpose driven brand with loyal customers, passionate employees, industry-leading economic potential, along with incredible brand equity, and craveable food with integrity, all built over the last 25 years," said Brian Niccol, chief executive officer. "While the company made notable progress during the quarter, I firmly believe we can accelerate that progress in the future.”

The company shares jumped as much as 23.53 percent to $419.69 in the early trading on Wednesday. This marked its biggest intraday gain since 2007.

During the earnings conference call, Niccol, who arrived in March from Taco Bell, said the company will be focusing heavily on digital, marketing and menu innovation.

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