DENVER, 2017-Feb-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) today (Feb. 2, 2017) reported financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.
Overview for the fourth quarter of 2016 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015:
- Revenue increased 3.7% to $1.0 billion
- Comparable restaurant sales for the month of December increased 14.7% and declined 4.8% for the full quarter
- Restaurant level operating margin was 13.5%, a decrease from 19.6%
- Net income was $16.0 million, a decrease from $67.9 million
- Diluted earnings per share was $0.55, a decrease from $2.17
- Opened 72 new restaurants
Overview for the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the prior year:
- Revenue decreased 13.3% to $3.9 billion
- Comparable restaurant sales decreased 20.4%
- Restaurant level operating margin was 12.8%, a decrease from 26.1%
- Net income was $22.9 million, a decrease from net income of $475.6 million
- Diluted earnings per share was $0.77, a decrease from $15.10
- Opened 240 new restaurants, net of 3 relocations or closures
“We are energized and focused to achieve our goals in 2017, and to return to a path of long-term value creation for our shareholders,” said Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chipotle. “Returning to our roots of what originally made Chipotle great has helped refocus all of our strategies toward the guest experience. In the upcoming year we intend to continue to simplify and improve our restaurant operations, utilize creative marketing to rebuild our brand, and further the roll-out of our digital sales efforts. All three of these strategic initiatives are centered on improving the guest experience and restoring customer affinity for the Chipotle brand, and we are confident in our teams’ abilities as we start this new year.”
Fourth quarter 2016 results
Revenue for the quarter was $1.0 billion, up 3.7% from the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase in revenue was driven by new restaurant openings, partially offset by a 4.8% decrease in comparable restaurant sales. Comparable restaurant sales declined primarily as a result of a decrease in the number of transactions in our restaurants, and to a lesser extent from a decline in average check. Comparable restaurant sales decreased 20.2% and 1.4% in October and November 2016, and increased 14.7% in December 2016. Comparable restaurant sales benefitted from easier comparisons due to lower sales levels in November and December 2015. We opened 72 new restaurants during the quarter, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,250.
Food costs were 35.3% of revenue, an increase of 150 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase was driven by higher avocado prices and increased expense for pre-diced tomatoes, partially offset by relief in beef prices.
Restaurant level operating margin was 13.5% in the quarter, a decrease from 19.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decrease was driven primarily by increased marketing and promotional spend, sales deleveraging and higher food costs.
General and administrative expenses were 6.3% of revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 160 basis points over the fourth quarter of 2015. In dollar terms, general and administrative expenses increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due to increased stock based compensation and legal expenses, partially offset by lower bonus expense.
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $16.0 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, compared to net income of $67.9 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Full year ended December 31, 2016 results
Revenue for the full year 2016 was $3.9 billion, down 13.3% from the prior year. The decrease in revenue was driven by a 20.4% decrease in comparable restaurant sales, partially offset by revenue from new restaurants. Comparable restaurant sales declined primarily as a result of a decrease in the number of transactions in our restaurants, and to a lesser extent from a decline in average check.
We opened 240 new restaurants during the full year 2016, net of 3 relocations or closures, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,250.
Food costs were 35.0% of revenue, an increase of 160 basis points as compared to the prior year. The increase was driven by increased waste and costs related to new food safety procedures as well as higher avocado prices, partially offset by relief in beef prices and a benefit of menu price increases implemented in select restaurants in the second half of 2015.
Restaurant level operating margin was 12.8% for the full year 2016, a decrease from 26.1% from the prior year. The decrease was driven by sales deleverage, increased marketing and promotional spending, and other increased costs of doing business.
General and administrative expenses were 7.1% of revenue for the full year of 2016, an increase of 150 basis points over the prior year, primarily as a result of sales deleverage. In dollar terms, general and administrative costs increased compared to the prior year due to higher legal expense, higher payroll costs as we grew, and expenses associated with our biennial All Managers’ Conference held during 2016, partially offset by lower bonus expense and travel costs.
Our 2016 effective tax rate was 40.8%, an increase of 2.6% from 2015, due to higher state tax rates, not qualifying for the federal research and development tax credit in 2016, and non-deductible items on overall lower pre-tax operating income.
Net income for the full year of 2016 was $22.9 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, compared to net income of $475.6 million, or $15.10 per diluted share, for the prior year.
For 2017, management is targeting the following:
- Comparable restaurant sales increases in the high-single digits
- 195 – 210 new restaurant openings
- An estimated effective full year tax rate to be between 39.0% and 39.5%, which will be impacted by volatility due to a recently issued accounting standard that changes how we account for taxes associated with stock-based compensation awards.
The following definitions apply to these terms as used throughout this release:
Comparable restaurant sales, or sales comps, represent the change in period-over-period sales for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.
Comparable restaurant transactions represent the change in period-over-period transactions, including transactions with no sales dollars due to promotional discounts, for restaurants in operation for at least 13 full calendar months.
Restaurant level operating margin represents total revenue less restaurant operating costs, expressed as a percent of total revenue.
Chipotle will host a conference call to discuss the fourth quarter and full year 2016 financial results on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 4:30 PM Eastern time.
The conference call can be accessed live over the phone by dialing 1-888-791-4326 or for international callers by dialing 1-913-905-3216. The call will be webcast live from the company’s website on the investor relations page at ir.chipotle.com. An archived webcast will be available approximately one hour after the end of the call.
Steve Ells, our founder, chairman and CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads made from fresh, high-quality ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, the land, and the people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using whole, unprocessed ingredients and without the use of added colors, flavors or other additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and as of December 31, 2016, operated 2,250 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.
Certain statements in this press release, including statements under the heading “Outlook” of our expected comparable restaurant sales, number of new restaurant openings, and effective tax rate, for 2017 are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We use words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “should,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions, to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date any such statements are made and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the uncertainty of our ability to achieve expected levels of comparable restaurant sales due to factors such as changes in consumers’ perceptions of our brand, including as a result of food-borne illness incidents beginning in late 2015, the impact of competition, including from sources outside the restaurant industry, decreased overall consumer spending, or our possible inability to increase menu prices or realize the benefits of menu price increases; the risk of food-borne illnesses and other health concerns about our food or dining out generally; factors that could affect our ability to achieve and manage our planned expansion, such as the availability of a sufficient number of suitable new restaurant sites and the availability of qualified employees; the performance of new restaurants and their impact on existing restaurant sales; increases in the cost of food ingredients and other key supplies or higher food costs due to new supply chain protocols; the potential for increased labor costs or difficulty retaining qualified employees, including as a result of market pressures, enhanced food safety procedures in our restaurants, or new regulatory requirements; risks related to our marketing and advertising strategies, which may not be successful and may expose us to liabilities; risks relating to our expansion into new markets; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to our employees, our restaurant design, or the sale of food or alcoholic beverages; risks associated with our Food With Integrity philosophy, including supply shortages and potential liabilities from advertising claims and other marketing activities related to Food With Integrity; security risks associated with the acceptance of electronic payment cards or electronic storage and processing of confidential customer or employee information; risks relating to litigation, including possible governmental actions related to food-borne illness incidents, as well as class action litigation regarding employment laws, advertising claims or other matters; risks relating to our insurance coverage and self-insurance; our dependence on key personnel and uncertainties arising from recent changes in our management team; risks regarding our ability to protect our brand and reputation; risks associated with our ability to effectively manage our growth; and other risk factors described from time to time in our SEC reports, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, all of which are available on the investor relations page of our website at ir.Chipotle.com.
Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.