Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) Q4 2022 results

A Chipotle restaurant and signage are seen in Miami, Florida on February 9, 2022.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Chipotle Mexican Grill reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and earnings on Tuesday, suggesting its price hikes may finally put off customers.

In October, CEO Brian Niccol said the company sees “minimal resistance” to higher prices for its burrito bowls and tacos, even though transactions fell 1% in the third quarter.

Chipotle shares fell more than 5% in extended trading.

Here’s what the company reported for the fourth quarter, compared to Wall Street expectations, based on a poll of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $8.29 adjusted vs $8.90 expected
  • Revenue: $2.18 billion vs $2.23 billion expected

It’s the first time since Chipotle’s third-quarter 2017 report that the company has fallen short of Wall Street estimates for both quarterly earnings and revenue, according to Refinitiv data.

The burrito chain reported net income of $223.7 million, or $8.02 per share, for the fourth quarter, up from $133.5 million, or $4.69 per share, a year ago. Higher menu prices helped offset rising grocery costs as the company paid more for dairy and tortillas in the period ended December 31.

Excluding certain legal fees, corporate restructuring charges and other items, Chipotle earned $8.29 per share.

net sales increased 11.2% to $2.18 billion in the fourth quarter. The company’s same-store sales rose just 5.6%, falling short of StreetAccount’s estimate of 6.9% and weaker than Chipotle’s own forecast from late October.

The company said it is forecasting high-single-digit revenue growth for the first quarter of 2023, based on January’s low-double-digit revenue growth. Wall Street was expecting same-store sales of 6.7% in the first quarter, according to StreetAccount estimates.

A year ago, the company suffered from a wave of Covid infections, which led to some locations reducing working hours or temporarily closing due to sick employees.

Last month, Chipotle said it plans to hire 15,000 employees by spring ahead of its busiest time of year.

The company plans to open between 255 and 285 new locations this year, including relocating 10 to 15 restaurants to add a drive-thru lane.

Read the whole thing Chipotle earnings report Here. Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) Q4 2022 results

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