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If there were ever a story of an epic turnaround, Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) would be in the running. After enduring a seemingly endless series of foodborne illness outbreaks, the company has recovered its footing under the tutelage of CEO Brian Niccol. Since bottoming out early last year, the stock has come roaring back, gaining over 170% in the process.
Chipotle will be providing investors with its latest update when the company reports the financial results of its first quarter after the market closes on Wednesday, April 24. Let's recap Chipotle's fourth-quarter performance and look at recent events to see if we can get any insight into what investors can expect when the company reports.
For the fourth quarter, Chipotle reported revenue of $1.23 billion, up 10.4% year over year and easily surpassing analysts' consensus estimates of $1.19 billion. This showing resulted in adjusted earnings per share that increased 11% to $1.72, soaring past estimates of $1.37.
Same-store sales stole the show, growing 6.1% year over year, far above the 4.5% Wall Street expected. It's important to note that comps rose on a combination of not only menu price increases but also increasing foot traffic.
Niccol has been investing heavily in digital and marketing, and those efforts are taking root. Digital orders rose to $158.6 million -- a 66% increase -- and accounted for 13% of total sales.
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