Chipotle Mexican (CMG) Sees Q4 EPS, Revs Below Views

January 16, 2013 6:02 AM EST
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) reported preliminary unaudited results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012.

Highlights of expected results for the fourth quarter of 2012 include:

* Diluted earnings per share expected to be in the range of $1.92 to $1.97. The Street sees EPS of $2.09.
* Revenue expected to increase 17.2% to $699.2 million. The Street sees revs of $690.86 million.
* Comparable restaurant sales expected to increase 3.8%
* Restaurant level operating margin expected to be about 24.6%, a decrease of 150 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2011
* Opened 60 new restaurants

Preliminary fourth quarter 2012 results

Revenue is expected to increase to $699.2 million in the quarter, up 17.2% over the fourth quarter of 2011 on an expected comparable restaurant sales increase of 3.8%, driven mostly by traffic.

Food costs are expected to be about 33.5% of sales, an increase of 130 basis points from last year driven by higher commodity costs.

Other operating costs increased sequentially from the third quarter primarily due to increased marketing and promotional related costs and are expected to be about 11.5% of sales in the fourth quarter.

“We are pleased with our top line revenue growth, as we opened a record number of new restaurants in 2012, and underlying comparable transaction growth continued during the 4th quarter. While food costs driven by underlying inflation increased faster than expected in the fourth quarter, we’re optimistic that food inflation will level off in 2013. We are confident in our ability to continue to drive attractive top line sales growth in 2013 through a combination of new restaurant growth, and by having teams of empowered top performers providing an extraordinary dining experience for our customers,” said Monty Moran, co-CEO of Chipotle.

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