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Chipotle Surges Past $400

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) surged 7% on Friday, crossing the $400 mark, as investors applauded the fast-casual burrito chain's solid second quarter earnings.

Chipotle shares were rising 7.1% to $403.39 at last check - the stock briefly hit $400 this time last year as well.

The Denver-based company said Thursday net income for the June-ending quarter rose 7.6% to $87.9 million compared to the year-earlier period. Chipotle's diluted earnings per share came in at $2.82, a penny higher than what Wall Street was expecting, and 10.2% higher than the year before.

Revenue for the quarter rose 18.2% to $816.8 million, surpassing analysts' expectations of $803 million. The company attributed the strong revenue growth to new stores opened - a total of 92 for the first half of the year and 1,502 stores overall.

Comparable restaurant sales of 5.5% came in higher than Wall Street expected.

Management moved the needle higher for its expectations for same-store sales in 2013, upping guidance from flat-to-low single-digits to low-to-mid-single digit growth.

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the company was when it would raise prices - a notion it's been hinting at for several quarters. During the earnings call, management took menu item price increases off the table at least for the next two quarters. "As a result of the relatively stable food cost and a longer term general forecast of a stable or perhaps even deflationary food cost we do not have any current plans to raise prices for the remainder of 2013," CFO Jack Hartung said.

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