Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) Q3 2021 earnings

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A customer carries a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. bag outside a restaurant in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, July 20, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chipotle Mexican Grill is expected to report its third-quarter earnings after the bell Thursday.

Here’s what Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv are expecting:

Earnings per share: $6.32 expectedRevenue: $1.94 billion expected

The burrito chain has bounced back relatively quickly from the pandemic, in part due to the strength of its online sales. Wall Street is expecting the company to report same-store sales growth of 14%, according to StreetAccount estimates. The company forecast same-store sales growth in the low-to-mid double digits. A year ago, Chipotle’s same-store sales climbed 8.3%.

The limited-time addition of smoked brisket to the menu likely helped sales, although the delta variant may have kept some customers at home. Last quarter, executives said that dine-in customers were returning, but those consumers might have switched back to takeout and delivery as new Covid-19 cases rose in parts of the country.

Investors will also be watching to see if Chipotle is seeing higher food costs or experiencing labor challenges, like the rest of the industry. Domino’s Pizza said the labor crunch hit its U.S. same-store sales, in part because some locations shortened their hours. Chili’s parent Brinker International said the surge of new Covid-19 cases in August exacerbated those issues for the company, hitting its margins hard.

Chipotle has already raised prices this year to account for a hike in worker pay, although CFO Jack Hartung warned analysts last quarter that food costs would be higher this quarter.

Shares of Chipotle have risen 33% this year, giving it a market value of $51.87 billion.

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