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Chipotle earnings beat: $2.13 per share, vs. $1.57 expected

Sarah Whitten
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill will report first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday's earnings report marks the first time that CEO Brian Niccol will address Chipotle investors.
  • While Niccol's vision will not be reflected in Wednesday's results, investors are eager to hear about his plans for the brand going forward.

Chipotle Mexican Grill CMG is set to report fiscal first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday.

The burrito chain is expected to post earnings of $1.57 per share on $1.15 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Wednesday's earnings report marks the first time that CEO Brian Niccol will address Chipotle investors. Niccol left his post as CEO of Taco Bell YUM to take over the beleaguered burrito brand, inheriting a company that has suffered from a three-year sales slump.

Shares of Chipotle have fallen more than 28 percent in the last year.

The hope is that Niccol, who came to the restaurant industry with an engineering degree, an MBA in business and a 10-year stint at consumer products giant Procter & Gamble PG , can revitalize the brand.

Niccol has a reputation for marketing and technology innovation, two key areas that have not been a top priority for Chipotle. At Taco Bell, he introduced mobile order and pay, repositioned the Mexican chain as a lifestyle brand and pushed for more ingenuity in the kitchen.

Niccol joined the Chipotle team on March 5.

While Niccol's vision will not be reflected in Wednesday's results, investors are eager to hear about his plans for the brand going forward. Particularly, under the shadow of Steve Ells, the ex-CEO and founder of the company, who has stayed on with the company as executive chairman.

Last quarter, the company said that it expected same-store sales in 2018 to rise at a low-single digit pace. Analysts anticipate that same-store sales grew 1.3 percent in the first quarter, according to StreetAccount.



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