Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) reported financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2017.
Overview for the first quarter of 2017 as compared to the first quarter of 2016:
- Revenue increased 28.1% to $1.07 billion
- Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.8% (including 0.6% from recognized revenue previously deferred related to Chiptopia)
- Restaurant level operating margin increased to 17.7% from 6.8%
- Net income was $46.1 million, improved from a net loss of $26.4 million
- Diluted earnings per share was $1.60, improved from a diluted net loss per share of $0.88
- Opened 57 new restaurants
“2017 is off to a strong start, as our restaurant managers and teams are energized by our renewed focus on the customer,” said Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. “By simplifying the focus in our restaurants to only those elements that lead to a great guest experience, our operations have improved every single month, which gives us confidence that we are on our way to achieve our mission to ensure that great food made with whole unprocessed ingredients is accessible to everyone.”
First quarter 2017 results
Revenue for the quarter was $1.07 billion, up 28.1% from the first quarter of 2016. The increase in revenue was driven by comparable restaurant sales increases and to a lesser extent by new restaurant openings. Comparable restaurant sales increased due to improved customer traffic, reduced promotional activity, and increased average check. Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.8%, which included a benefit of 0.6% due to previously deferred revenue related to Chiptopia recognized during the quarter. We opened 57 new restaurants during the quarter and closed 15 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants and one Chipotle restaurant. Our total restaurant count as of the end of the quarter was 2,291.
Food costs were 33.8% of revenue, a decrease of 150 basis points compared to the first quarter of 2016. The decrease was primarily driven by lower food waste and testing costs, and bringing the preparation of lettuce and bell peppers back to our restaurants. This decrease was partially offset by higher avocado prices.
Restaurant level operating margin was 17.7% in the quarter, an increase from 6.8% in the first quarter of 2016. The increase was primarily driven by sales leverage, lower marketing and promotional spend, efficiencies in labor, and lower food costs. The restaurant level operating margin also benefited by 0.15% from sales leverage related to recognizing revenue previously deferred from Chiptopia, slightly offset by free catering discounts for Chiptopia.
General and administrative expenses were 6.5% of revenue for the first quarter of 2017, a decrease of 90 basis points from the first quarter of 2016. In dollar terms, general and administrative expenses increased $7.4 million compared to the first quarter of 2016 due to increased non-cash stock based compensation and bonus expense, partially offset by lower legal and travel costs. Excluding stock based compensation, general and administrative expenses during the quarter were flat in dollar terms compared to last year. Stock compensation expense was higher during the first quarter of 2017 because the first quarter of 2016 included a reduction in expense for performance awards that were no longer expected to vest against performance criteria. Without this reduction, stock compensation expense was consistent in both years.
Net income for the first quarter of 2017 was $46.1 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $26.4 million, or a loss of $0.88 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016.
For the full year of 2017, management is targeting the following:
- Comparable restaurant sales increases in the high-single digits
- 195 – 210 new restaurant openings
- An estimated effective full year tax rate of approximately 39.0%
The following definitions apply to these terms as used throughout this release:
Comparable restaurant sales, or sales comps, represent the change in period-over-period sales for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.
Comparable restaurant transactions represent the change in period-over-period transactions, including transactions with no sales dollars due to promotional discounts, for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.
Restaurant level operating margin represents total revenue less restaurant operating costs, expressed as a percent of total revenue.
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill opened today at $471.1, up $0.45 or -0.10%. CMG has a 1-year high of $483.50 and a 1-year low of $352.96. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $434.06 and its 200-day moving average is $409.19.
Overall, 5 research analysts have rated the stock with a Sell rating, 8 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 7 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $410.77 which is -12.8% under where the stock opened today.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. engages in the development and operation of fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants throughout the U.S. It offers focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads, prepared using classic cooking methods. The company was founded by Steve Ells in 1993 and is headquartered in Denver, CO.