Chipotle’s Stock Is In The Shitter Because No One Ate Chipotle Last Month
Tough times if you’re Chipotle. Last year the fast casual restaurant brand was hotter than ever: There were plans to build over 4200 new locations around the world. There was rabid excitement about a delivery service. People were eating Chipotle for lunch 100 days in a row. They were on top of the world.
Now everything is in the toilet for Chipotle after a scourge of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks around the country. And today we have a sense of how big of a dump the company is going to take after giving America the runs this fall.
According to the Wall Street Journal, same-day restaurant sales are down 30% in December:
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Chipotle said same-restaurant sales, a key metric that excludes newly opened or closed restaurants, fell 14.6%. In early December, Chipotle said it expected sales to be down 8% to 11% for the quarter.
However, for the month of December, Chipotle’s same-restaurant sales slid 30% after trending as low as 37% throughout the month. December’s slide is worse than the 16% same-store sales decline Chipotle saw in November at the height of the E. coli outbreak.
Chipotle said its future sales could be “significantly influenced by further developments.”
Chipotle will report sales for the quarter and full year on Feb. 2.
Analysts were predicting a 35% earnings. To add insult to injury, the chain has been hit with a subpoena in a federal criminal investigation related to documents in the norovirus outbreak.
The stock itself has diarrhea, with shares down 37% over the past three months and continuing to plunge. Clearly shareholders are trying to flush their losses. Then again, you’re already considerably in the black with your investment in Chipotle stock if you invested a long time ago…
Bill Mays, you’re the company’s only hope.