Chipotle Mexican Grill released its third quarter earnings report after closing bell tonight, posting earnings of $4.59 per share on $1.2 billion in revenue, a 12.2% year over year increase. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $4.62 per share on revenue of $1.22 billion. In last year’s third quarter, the fast casual food chain reported earnings of $4.15 per share on $1.08 billion in revenue.
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s comparable sales edge upward
Comparable store sales rose 2.6% year over year, while restaurant level operating margin fell 50 basis points to 28.3%. Net income rose 10.8% to $144.9 million.
Chipotle Mexican Grill said the increase in revenue was driven by the addition of 53 new restaurants during the quarter rather than an increase in comparable store sales. The company said it now has 1,931 restaurants open.
Food costs fell 130 basis points to make up 33% of revenue. Management said relief in prices for avocados and dairy products brought food costs lower. Also the recent menu price increase helped but was partially offset by higher beef and packaging costs.
“Chipotle’s third quarter results demonstrate the continued success of our vision to change the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Chipotle Mexican Grill founder, chairman, and co-CEO Steve Ells in a statement. “As we have grown our restaurants through the year, we are able to push our standards higher in what we can accomplish with our food culture. We have currently returned carnitas to 90% of our restaurants, and will look to bring it back to 100% of restaurants during the fourth quarter.”
Chipotle Mexican Grill updates guidance
For this year, Chipotle Mexican Grill management raised their guidance for new store openings to between 215 and 225. Previously, they had guided for between 190 and 205. They expect comparable restaurant sales to rise by the low- to mid-single digits. For next year, management expects to open between 220 and 235 new restaurants and see comparable restaurant sales rise by the low-single digits.
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill plunged in after-hours trades, falling as much as 4.86% to $672.51 per share.