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Chipotle’s Q1 sales rise 20%, spurred by online orders

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. late Wednesday blew past Wall Street expectations for its first quarter, saying new menu items, ongoing strength for its online orders and a tailwind from stimulus checks pushed its sales more than 20% higher.

Chipotle
CMG,
-1.60%

said it earned $127.1 million, or $4.45 a share, in the first quarter, compared with $76.4 million, or $2.70 a share, in the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $153.1 million, or $5.36 a share.

Revenue rose 23% to $1.7 billion, with comparable-restaurant sales rising a little over 17%. Digital sales grew 134% and accounted for half the sales, the company said.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the fast-casual restaurant chain to report adjusted profit of $4.92 a share on sales of $1.75 billion in the quarter. The analysts expected a 18% increase in same-store sales.

“We believe several new menu items, effective marketing, and ongoing strength in digital sales, as well as a tailwind from government stimulus payments to consumers, contributed to first-quarter revenue growth,” Chipotle said.

For the second quarter, the company said it expects same-restaurant sales to be in a range of the “high twenties” to 30%.

The stock rose 0.4% in the extended session after ending Wednesday’s regular session down 1.6%.

Shares of Chipotle have gained 8.5% so far this year, and nearly doubled in the past 12 months, underperforming the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.93%

advance of 11% this year but outpacing the index’s 52% gain in the past 12 months.

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