Chipotle Got Almost Half its Q4 Revenue From Digital Sales

Mexican food chain operator misses earnings estimates, reports revenue in line with forecasts
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Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.  (CMG) - Get Report  said digital sales rose 177% in the fourth quarter to account for 49% of all revenue in the period, even as earnings per share missed analyst estimates. 

The Mexican food chain operator reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.48 on revenue of $1.6 billion after the market closed on Tuesday

The company had been expected to report adjusted net income of $106.4 million, or $3.73 a share, on sales of $1.6 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 32 analysts.

In the same period a year ago, the company posted earnings of $2.86 a share on sales of $1.4 billion. It reported adjusted net income of $81 million. 

"Expanding access and convenience through our digital ecosystem has kept the Chipotle brand relevant," said Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO, in a statement.

The company said digital sales grew 177.2% in the quarter from the same period last year, to $781.4 million and represented 49.0% of sales. Roughly half of digital sales were via delivery, with the rest coming from order-ahead transactions, Chipotle said in the statement.

The company said that "given on-going uncertainty surrounding the future impact of COVID-19 on the broader U.S. economy and any specific impact to our company, we are not providing fiscal 2021 comparable restaurant sales growth guidance.

For the year, analysts project revenue of $6 billion.

Shares of Chipotle fell $52.06 to $1,470.99 in after-hours trading Tuesday. In the regular trading session the stock gained 0.9% 

The stock has risen about 10% since the company last reported earnings on Oct. 21.