Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Chipotle Mexican Grill develops and operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants in 35 states throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, and Ontario, Canada.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.82 per share, a rise of 23.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $1.80. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from $1.81 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $6.82 per share, a rise of 20.9% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped estimates last quarter after missing forecasts the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported profit of $1.90 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.85 per share. In the second quarter, it missed forecasts by 9 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 22.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $590.2 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Chipotle Mexican Grill as 11 analysts rate it as a buy, two rate it as a sell and 10 rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 25.3% to $60.4 million ($1.90 a share) from $48.2 million ($1.52 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 24.1% to $591.9 million from $476.9 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 23.8%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 24.5% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 9% in the second quarter and 22.6% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIMD), Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TAST), Tim Hortons Inc. (NYSE:THI), Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK), Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ:PNRA), Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATH), Wendy’s Arby’s Group Inc. (NYSE:WEN), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) and Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI).

Stock Price Performance: During November 28, 2011 to January 26, 2012, the stock price had risen $56.26 (18.2%) from $309.55 to $365.81. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 22, 2011 and April 1, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 12.3% (+$30.11) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 12, 2011 and December 19, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 6.6% (-$22.45) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com