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Chipotle sales beat expectations, stock jumps

Heidi Chung
·Reporter
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Chipotle’s (CMG) second-quarter sales smashed expectations, and the stock soared more than 3% in after-hours trade and hit all-time highs.

Here are the numbers for Chipotle’s second quarter, compared to Wall Street analyst expectations:

  • Revenue: $1.43 billion vs. $1.41 billion expected, 13% growth year-over-year

  • Adj. earnings per share: $3.99 vs. $3.76 expected

  • Same-store sales: +10% vs. +8.4% expected

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27:  Chipotle restaurant workers fill orders for customers on the day that the company announced it will only use non-GMO ingredients in its food on April 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  The company announced, that the Denver-based chain would not use the GMO's, which is an organism whose genome has been altered via genetic engineering in the food served at Chipotle Mexican Grills.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Chipotle restaurant worker makes a burrito bowl. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The company reported that digital sales grew 99% during the second quarter and accounted for more than 18% of total sales.

"We're pleased with our financial performance, which marks the sixth consecutive quarter of accelerating comps and reflects continued progress on our key strategic initiatives," CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement. "These strong results were delivered despite a tougher year over year comparison and benefited from better restaurant operations, more effective marketing, and leveraging our digital make line to grow sales and expand access."

Due to the increase in avocado prices, Chipotle reported that food, beverage and packaging costs were 33.7% of total revenue, which was a 110 basis point increase from the same period last year. Those increases were partially offset by the menu price increases across the U.S. at the end of 2018. On the conference call, management said that avocado prices will likely stay elevated through July, but margins will improve once avocado prices stabilize. Also on the conference call, Niccol explained that Chipotle doesn’t want to be overly aggressive with price increases, and therefore will keep menu price increases at 2%.

For the full year, Chipotle boosted its same-store sales growth outlook and now expects high single digit same-store sales growth, up from the previously expected mid to single digit range. Chipotle expects 140 to 155 new store openings in 2019.

The burrito giant has been crushing it recently. The stock is back near record highs, and under CEO Brian Niccol’s leadership, the company has seen strong same-store sales momentum. Not to mention, the stock has soared more than 100% since Niccol took the position.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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