DENVER — Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. jumped as much as 20% late on April 25 as the company’s first-quarter results beat analysts’ projections. Net income in the first quarter ended March 31 was $59,446,000, equal to $2.13 per share on the common stock, up from $46,120,000, or $1.60, in the prior-year period. Revenue totaled $1,148,397,000, up 7.4% from $1,068,829,000.
Comparable restaurant sales increased 2.2% in the quarter, driven by menu price increases, which offset traffic declines.
“Chipotle is a purpose driven brand with loyal customers, passionate employees, industry-leading economic potential, along with incredible brand equity, and craveable food with integrity, all built over the last 25 years,” said Brian R. Niccol, chief executive officer. “While the company made notable progress during the quarter, I firmly believe we can accelerate that progress in the future.”
Previously head of the Taco Bell division at Yum! brands, Mr. Niccol joined Chipotle on March 5, succeeding M. Steven Ells, who founded the company in 1993 and has since transitioned to an executive chairman role. Mr. Niccol said executing fundamentals while introducing consumer-meaningful innovation across the business will propel Chipotle along a path to greater performance supported by a structure and organization built for creativity, action and accountability.
“Finally, Chipotle will have a culture that is centered on running great restaurants, putting the customer first, innovating for today and tomorrow, supporting each other, and delivering on commitments,” Mr. Niccol said. “The future will be meaningful at Chipotle.”