Chipotle Sees Slow Down But Beats the Street
Chipotle Mexican Grille Inc. which has outperformed all other members of the S&P 500 Restaurant Index so far, sees sales coming in soft next year. Growth has been near 15% for stores opened in the last year but going forward, the company predicts sales to grow closer to 5%. Analysts had thought a slow down in the 7.2% growth range was coming. So they did see this trend prior to the company discussing it today while reporting its most recent quarter.
The stock, ticker symbol CMG moved lower in after-hours trading. The stock has climbed 23% this year to date. Analyst are hoping the soft sales growth projection is the company being conservative at this time and the actual numbers will be better. Some till remain positive on the stock with Buy ratings. Strong growth in the past was attributed to the healthy nature of their meals and the ability of customers to customize their orders.
Net income did jump in the third quarter 57% to $130.8 million. This is from $83.4 million in the same period last year. Revenue was strong also with a 31% increase slightly beating expectations. The company has moved into catering outside events, creating some of the additional sales. Inflation is affecting profits to some degree, although this report does not look tarnished in any way. New store opens planned for next year should top 200.
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