Chipotle Shares Drop As Earnings Dented By E. Coli Outbreak

By Sue ChangMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. slid in Tuesday's extended trade after the company posted earnings for a quarter which it described as the "most challenging" in its history following an E. coli outbreak at several of its stores. The Mexican-style fast-food chain reported its fourth-quarter earnings nearly halved to $67.9 million, or $2.17 a share, from $120.2 million, or $3.84 a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue dropped 6.8% to $997.5 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.86 a share on revenue of $1 billion. Same-store sales, a key metric for retailers, sank 14.6% in the quarter. Chipotle shares declined 2% in the after-hours session.

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