Chipotle Mexican Grill
For the fourth quarter, sales increased 36% to $173.3 million. Operating income turned positive, equaling $7.7 million compared with last year's operating loss of $3.8 million. Net income was $4.3 million ($0.16 per diluted share) versus a year-ago net loss of $3.7 million ($0.14 per diluted share).
For the full year, sales increased 33% to $627.7 million. Operating income jumped more than 400% to $31 million, and net income increased to $37.7 million ($1.43 per diluted share) from last year's $6.1 million ($0.24 per diluted share).
As Rich pointed out, an expected tax benefit boosted the net income to a higher level than the operating take for the fiscal year; subtracting that non-cash benefit, which was equal to $20.3 million, gives us an earnings figure of $0.66 per diluted share. That's still impressive, and it's another sign that Chipotle truly is a hot brand right now.
How hot, you ask? Same-store sales, a good indicator of a company's health, grew 10.2% for the year. While they did fall from last year's 13.3% performance, the double-digit results show that the brand continues to gain popularity.
Chipotle believes that it can grow operating income at an annual clip of 25% for the foreseeable future. In addition, the margins seem to be holding up well, between 80 and 90 new stores will be added this year, and the company seems to be extracting increased efficiencies from its system while passing along higher prices for its food.
In my opinion, Chipotle looks like it could be a very rewarding long-term investment. It's a spinoff of McDonald's
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