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Chipotle stock rallies after price increases shield chain from rising costs – News Opener

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. rallied more than 8% in after-hours trading Tuesday after the fast-casual restaurant chain beat Wall Street’s quarterly expectations as menu price increases took out some of the sting from rising costs it faced.

Chipotle
CMG,
-0.94%

said it earned $259.9 million, or $9.25 a share, in the second quarter, compared with $188 million, or $6.60 a share, in the second quarter of 2021.

Excluding one-time items, Chipotle earned $9.30 a share. Revenue rose 17% to $2.2 billion, with same-restaurant sales up 10.1%, the company said.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the fast-casual restaurant chain to report adjusted earnings of $9.03 a share on sales of $2.25 billion for the quarter.

“We are pleased with our second-quarter performance during a period of inflation and consumer uncertainty,” Chief Executive Brian Niccol said in a statement. “Our pricing power and value proposition remain strong as our culinary and food-with-integrity commitment continues to be a key point of differentiation.”

Restaurant operating margin was 25.2%, an increase from 24.5% in the second quarter of 2021 thanks to the menu price increases and, in a smaller part, lower delivery fees with fewer delivery transactions, Chipotle said. That was offset in part by higher food costs and increases in hourly wages.

Costs with food, beverages and packaging remained flat at about 30% of total revenue, Chipotle said.

The “benefit of menu price increases was offset by inflation across the menu primarily due to higher costs for avocados, packaging, dairy, beef and chicken,” the company said.

Chipotle guided for third-quarter same-restaurant sales growth in the mid- to high-single digits, including its planned price increases in August.

It hopes to open between 235 and 250 new restaurants, including 10 to 15 relocations to add a drive-through lane, it said.

Shares of Chipotle have lost about 25% this year, which compares with losses of around 18% for the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-1.15%
.

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