Chipotle hits all-time high as diners return to restaurants

July 21, 2021, 3:05 PM UTC

Investors gorged on Chipotle stock Wednesday after the company reported notably better-than-expected quarterly earnings, showing customers are back in a big way.

Shares of CMG were up nearly 10% as of 10:30 a.m. ET, hitting an all-time high. Year to date, the stock is up more than 30%.

Chipotle reported quarterly revenue on Tuesday that topped pre-pandemic levels, noting that dine-in customers were returning to the restaurant in droves. Net sales rose 38.7% to $1.89 billion, topping analyst expectations. In the same quarter one year ago, the chain experienced a 9% drop.

Excluding one-time costs, the company earned $7.46 per share, a considerable amount more than the $6.52 analysts were expecting.

Company officials said that while people are returning to physical locations, digital sales, which the company relied on heavily during the pandemic, haven’t significantly slowed down.

“We hung on to about 80% of our digital sales, and we’re seeing about 70% of our dining room sales recaptured of where we were pre-COVID,” said Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO on a call with analysts. “And what we’re seeing is the overlap is still in that 15%-plus range, people doing both channels, which leaves the door open for a lot of incremental occasions or different occasions.”

Chipotle also turned the heads of some Reddit investors during last night’s NBA Finals, with a promotion that gave away tens of thousands of burritos. It’s also offering free delivery on its app during the Olympic Games.

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