Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc Class A CMG
Q4 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/01/2012

Operator: Good afternoon and welcome to the Chipotle Mexican Grill Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. All participants are in a listen-only mode. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to introduce Chipotle's Director of Investor Relations, Alex Spong. You may begin your conference.

Alex Spong - IR: Thank you. Hello, everyone and welcome to our call today. By now you should have access to our earnings announcement released this afternoon for the fourth quarter and full year 2011. It may also be found on our website at in the Investor Relations section.

Before we begin our presentation, I will remind everyone that parts of our discussion today will include forward-looking statements as defined in the securities laws. These forward-looking statements will include projections of the number of restaurants we intend to open, comp restaurant sales increases, food cost trends, margins, effective tax rates, return on investment, investment costs, capital expenditures and shareholder returns, as well as other statements of our expectations and plans.

These statements are based on information available to us today and we are not assuming any obligation to update them. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. We refer you to the risk factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-Q and 10-K as updated in our subsequent 10-Qs for discussion of these risks.

Our discussion today will also include non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliation of which can be found on the presentation page of the Investor Relations section of our website.

I'd like to remind everyone that we have adopted a self-imposed quiet period, restricting communications with investors during that period. The quiet period begins on the first day of the last month of each fiscal quarter and continues until the next earnings conference call. For the first quarter, it will begin on March 1 and continue through our first quarter release in April.

On the call with us today are Steve Ells, our Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer; Monty Moran, Co-Chief Executive Officer; and Jack Hartung, Chief Financial Officer.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Steve.

Steve Ells - Chairman and Co-CEO: I am pleased with our fourth quarter results and our performance throughout 2011. In the year, where we saw only modest improvement in the economy along with pressure from rising commodity cost, we were able to grow our revenue 23.7% to $596.7 million during the fourth quarter and 23.6% to $2.27 billion for the year. We posted same-store sales growth of 11.1% during the quarter and 11.2% for the full year. Our restaurant level margins were 26.1% for the quarter and 26% for the full year, among the highest in the industry.

Our performance is a direct result of our continued focus on just a few things. Strengthening our food culture, which is aimed at finding the very best ingredients we can, our ongoing quest for more sustainable sources for all of our ingredients that we use, and our commitment to preparing food in our restaurants using classic cooking techniques, and our people culture, which is stronger than ever as our top performing employees continue to develop into inspiring future leaders of our Company.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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