Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is set to release its third-quarter earnings report after the markets close on Thursday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are $2.00 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.23 billion in revenue. That compares with the $1.33 in EPS and $1.13 billion in revenue posted in the same period of last year.
At the beginning of this month, the burrito chain announced that it is piloting its new “highly anticipated” loyalty program, Chipotle Rewards. This is part of Chipotle’s ongoing efforts to drive digital innovation and make the brand more accessible. The points-based loyalty system is now live in three test markets: Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; and Columbus, Ohio. A national launch currently is slated for 2019.
Under this new loyalty program, eligible customers in each of the three test markets can sign-up for Chipotle Rewards via the Chipotle app or on Chipotle.com. Those who enroll can earn 10 points for every $1 spent, with 1,250 points resulting in a free entrée. To drive even more digital orders, for a limited time customers can earn 15 points for every $1 spent in the app and online.
Following the recent launch of Chipotle’s direct delivery service, the company has seen steady growth in digital orders.
Excluding Thursday’s move, Chipotle has outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up 27% in the past 52 weeks. In just 2018 alone, the stock is up 43%.
A few analysts weighed in on Chipotle ahead of the report:
- Loop Capital has a Buy rating.
- Piper Jaffray has a Buy rating and a $510 price target.
- UBS has a Sell rating with a $370 price target.
- Gordon Haskett rates it at Underperform with a $385 target.
- Wells Fargo’s Market Perform rating comes with a $415 target.
- KeyCorp has an Overweight rating and a $500 price target.
- Oppenheimer has an Underperform rating and a $400 target
Shares of Chipotle were last seen up about 2% at $420.40, with a consensus analyst price target of $466.71 and a 52-week trading range of $247.52 to $530.68.