Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reported its largest-ever quarterly sales as online orders helped offset lost restaurant traffic during the coronavirus pandemic, though the shift created costs that are weighing on profit.
Chipotle has benefited from a surge in to-go sales during the pandemic as consumers look for convenient food. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based burrito chain said Wednesday that same-store sales grew 8.3% in its third quarter over last year, exceeding the 7.3% increase analysts expected. Digital transactions, which tripled, accounted for nearly half the company’s revenue.
“That was a major shift,” Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung said in an interview.
Still, costs including restructuring and legal expenses weighed on profits. Chipotle’s earnings, on net income of $80 million, were $2.82 a share, down from $3.47 during last year’s period. Revenue in the quarter was $1.6 billion.
Chipotle’s shares fell 4% to $1,307 in aftermarket trading. The stock was up 63% year-to-date as of Wednesday’s close. Chipotle declined to give guidance for same-store sales and new openings for its fiscal year, citing ongoing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.