Chipotle previews fourth-quarter results


DENVER (AP) — In a preview of its financial results, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. says it expects to report a 17 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue from the same period a year earlier.

Chipotle released preliminary unaudited results late Tuesday, a day before management planned to speak at a conference in Florida. It plans to release complete results Feb. 5.

The Denver-based restaurant chain said Tuesday it expects to report fourth-quarter revenue of about $699 million, diluted earnings per share of between $1.92 and $1.97, and a 3.8 percent increase in sales at its restaurants that have been open at least a year.

Co-CEO Monty Moran says food costs driven by underlying inflation increased faster than expected in the fourth quarter, but he's optimistic that food inflation will level off in 2013.

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