By Lisa Baertlein
July 18 Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on
Thursday reported a higher quarterly profit after sales at
established restaurants rose due to more visits by diners,
sending the stock more than 4 percent higher.
The fast-growing burrito seller also said it had no plans to
raise prices for the rest of the year, disappointing some
investors, who had hoped for an additional boost to sales and
Sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, a closely
watched gauge of industry performance, were up 5.5 percent for
the second quarter, topping the average analyst estimate of 3.8
percent compiled by Consensus Metrix.
Chipotle stock gained 4.3 percent to $393 in after-hours
Chipotle's same-restaurant sales were up 1 percent in the
Analysts say the 20-year-old company needs mid-single-digit
percentage growth in same-restaurant sales to protect profits.
The Denver-based chain revised its 2013 forecast for
same-restaurant sales based on results from the latest quarter.
It now expects low- to mid-single-digit percentage growth versus
its previous call of flat to low-single-digit percentage growth.
Speaking on a conference call with analysts, executives said
they were delaying price hikes due to tamer overall food
inflation. The company also wants to replace oils made from
genetically modified ingredients and increase supplies of
naturally raised meats before making such a move.
Second-quarter net income at the burrito chain rose to $87.9
million, or $2.82 per share, from $81.7 million, or $2.56 per
share, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had expected second-quarter profit of
$2.81 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.