Chipotle (CMG) Q4 Results Hit the Mark Amid Rising Food Costs

February 5, 2013 5:37 PM EST

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Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) is sizzlin' in after-hours trading following firm fourth-quarter results.

Revenue for the Denver, CO-based restaurant chain rose 17.2 percent to $699.2 million with a 3.8 percent rise in comps. Net income improved 6.8 percent to $61.4 million, or $1.95 per share.

Consensus views called for revs of $698.9 million and EPS of $1.96. Chipotle guided to EPS of $1.92 to $1.97 and revs of $699.2 million in January.

Food costs rose 130 basis points to 33.5 percent of revs, leading to a 150 basis point drop in restaurant-level operating margins of 24.6 percent.

Looking ahead, Chipotle sees 165 to 180 new restaurant openings in 2013 with adjusted comps flat to up in the low-single-digit range.

"Our empowered restaurant teams once again were able to attract more people into our restaurants, creating positive comparable sales at Chipotle despite a sluggish economy and the roll off of our price increase," commented co-CEO Monty Moran. "We feel confident in our continued ability to drive sales growth in 2013 through a combination of new restaurant growth and our top performing, empowered restaurant teams creating an extraordinary dining experience for our customers."

In late trading, Chipotle is up 2.3 percent Tuesday.

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