Chipotle to report third-quarter earnings after the bell: Here’s what to expect

Chipotle Mexican Grill is set to report third-quarter earnings after the closing bell Thursday.

Here is what analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expect:

  • Earnings: $2.00 per share
  • Revenue: $1.23 billion
  • Same-store sales: up 5 percent

Wall Street expects Chipotle to post earnings of $2.00 per share on $1.23 billion in revenue, according to Refinitiv.

Investors will be keen to see if the $135 million investment Chipotle announced back in June has helped to win back customers. Analysts are expecting that the burrito chain’s same-store sales grew 5 percent in the third quarter.

“[I]t is encouraging to hear that 73 percent of customers that have not eaten at Chipotle in the past six months would consider returning to Chipotle if a new item was added to the menu,” RBC analyst David Palmer wrote in research note Monday, disclosing the results of a new survey. RBC polled 1,000 people about their recent visits to the restaurant, or lack thereof.

A year after pulling chorizo from its menu to make room for queso, Chipotle brought it back to restaurants for a limited time. Over the past few months, the company has been testing nachos, an avocado tostada, a new method to fold its quesadillas and even a line of frozen drinks such as a Mexican chocolate milkshake in limited markets.

These changes come on the heels of Brian Niccol’s appointment as CEO in March. The former Taco Bell executive build a strong following as he tried to fashion the fast-food Mexican chain into a lifestyle brand and pushed for more ingenuity in the kitchen. He hopes to do the same at Chipotle during his tenure.

Shares of Chipotle are up more than 45 percent since January, a sign that investors are banking on Niccol’s changes revitalizing the brand.

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