Chipotle first-quarter sales miss estimates after same-store sales sink

Chipotle posts quarterly loss, its first ever as public company

Chipotle (CMG) posted a major sales decline in the first quarter as the fast-casual restaurant chain works to restore its reputation after a spate of food-related illnesses hit its stores past year.

Chipotle shares were down 5.71% to $420.45 in mid-day trading Wednesday. He is working with a number of experts that have advised us in the past and has also worked closely with the U.S. CDC and FDA and other food safety authorities as we continue to implement our industry-leading protocols.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., together with its auxiliaries, develops and operates fast-casual fresh Mexican food restaurants.

For the first quarter, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. lost $26.4 million, or 88 cents per share. The company generated $1.09 billion in sales in the same quarter past year. Profit was largely hurt by the company's aggressive attempt to lure customers back.

The article Instant Analysis: Free Burritos Bringing Customers Back to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. originally appeared on Fool.com.

"Our sales are on a gradual path to recovery", Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement Tuesday announcing first-quarter results. The good news is, customers will probably return eventually on their own. It is also planning deals created to get its most loyal customers to return as frequently as they did before the food safety crisis, which included outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus.

In coming months, the chain plans to focus on nontraditional marketing, including a short film and promotional game, which Crumpacker said would have "traffic-driving components".

New sous vide steak procedures were actually met with fewer customer complaints as the process makes for a more tender, juicy product, according to Moran. The earnings loss is not as bad as analysts were expecting. The company reported a loss of $0.88 per share, which was better than the $1.05 consensus analysts' estimate on Wall Street.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG - Analyst Report) just released its first quarter 2016 earnings results, posting earnings of $-0.88 per share and revenue of $834.5 million.

CMG Chart
Chipotle Freebies Fail to Overcome Food Safety Fears; Shares Fall

Bears have hit CMG stock hard and they are reacting as if this is the end of Chipotle.

"A major part of our brand promise is being an ally for wellness that our customers trust to help them eat the way they want to eat", said Madsen.

The company continues to refine its food preparation guidelines in the wake of last year's E.coli issues. Even as the company ramps up its marketing and woos customers with coupons, sales still have dropped 26 per cent, excluding the benefit of an early Easter.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. shares fell 3% in after-hours Tuesday trading after it reported same-store sales that fell below estimates.

Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski also said that the key to Chipotle's recovery is maintaining the simplicity that made it successful in the first place.

Chipotle's troubles began in August 2015 when a Salmonella outbreak was linked to Chipotle stores in Minnesota. It is also waiting for more people to come in and redeem some of the direct mail buy-one-get-one offers it has already sent.

"We're concerned that the company may not be able to pass along these increases", Anderson said.

Chipotle Mexican Grill still has a long way to go before more people visit more often and pay full price for burritos, bowls and guacamole.

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