Chipotle sales fall more than expected

Chipotle on Tuesday reported third-quarter earnings results that showed sales fell more than expected, one year since outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus were linked to its food.

The company said it earned $1.04 billion in revenue, according to Bloomberg. Diluted earnings per share fell to $0.27 from $4.59, including a 29-cent charge related to the ShopHouse impairment charge and 23 cents due to the referral of revenue from Chiptopia, its new rewards program.

Analysts had forecast EPS of $1.56, although this may not be comparable to the actual number, and revenue totaling $1.09 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Comparable-store sales, at locations open for at least one year, fell 22%, more than analysts’ forecast for a 19% decline.

The disease outbreaks drove customers away from Chipotle and in the first quarter led to the company’s first sales decline since it went public.

Chipotle launched aggressive marketing campaigns and promotions to lure customers back.

Its shares closed down 2% at the end of regular trading on Tuesday. They have dropped 15% this year.

More to come …

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