Chipotle Takes a Big Bite Out of Q2 Earnings

When Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) released second-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday, the company posted $3.99 in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) on $1.43 billion in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $3.76 in EPS and revenue of $1.41 billion and with earnings of $2.87 per share and $1.27 billion in revenue posted in the same period of last year.

During the most recent quarter, comparable restaurant sales increased 10%. At the same time, digital sales grew 99.1% in the quarter and accounted for 18.2% of sales.

Restaurant-level operating margin was 20.9%, an increase from 19.7%. The improvement was driven primarily by leverage from the comparable restaurant sales increase, partially offset by wage inflation at the crew level, higher food costs, and increased delivery, marketing and promotional expenses.

Food, beverage, and packaging costs were 33.7% of revenue, an increase of 110 basis points compared to the second quarter of 2018.

Looking ahead to the 2019 full year, the company expects to see high single-digit comparable restaurant sales growth. Consensus estimates call for $13.11 in EPS and $5.43 billion in revenue for the year.

CEO Brian Niccol commented:

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. 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.

Shares of Chipotle closed Tuesday at $739.60, with a 52-week range of $383.20 to $765.99. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $705.85. Following the announcement, the stock was up 3% at $764.10 in the after-hours session.