Chipotle earnings: $3.84 per share, vs. expected EPS of $3.79

Chipotle Mexican Grill's comparable restaurant sales and revenue jumped but failed to meet Wall Street's high expectations on Tuesday.

The chain is also considering increasing the prices of some of its entrees but wants its prices to remain accessible, its CFO Jack Hartung said on the conference call.

"We don't have any plans for across the board menu increases in 2015," but the chain is open to considering a targeted price increase for steak and perhaps its barbacoa product, he added.

A previous nationwide price increase that rolled out during the second quarter helped fuel the burrito maker's sales.

Employees prepare lunch orders at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at Madison Square Park in New York.
Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Employees prepare lunch orders at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at Madison Square Park in New York.

Following the report, the burrito maker's stock shed 5 percent. (Click here to track its shares following the report.)

Its same store sales decelerated during the fourth quarter and rose 16.1 percent. They had been expected to surge 16.5 percent, according to a Consensus Metrix estimate.

Net income rose to $121.2 million, or $3.84 per share, compared to $79.6 million, or $2.53 per diluted share.

Its store openings and price increase fueled a 27 percent rise in revenue to $1.07 billion from $844 million a year ago.

Wall Street forecast Chipotle Mexican Grill would deliver earnings per share of $3.79 on revenue of $1.08 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

During 2015, Chipotle expects low to mid-single digit comparable restaurant sales increases as the company laps the price increase. It also plans to open 190 to 205 new restaurants. Currently it operates more than 1,780 locations.

"We will compare against the toughs comps we've ever had as a public company," said Hartung on the call.

Earlier this year, Chipotle suspended one of its pork suppliers after a routine audit revealed it was not meeting the eatery's standards. The chain is rotating its carnitas braised pork product through its restaurants so a third of them won't have the item at any given time. It is also planning to take a $2 million charge during the first quarter related to the pulled pork.

Higher beef, avocado and dairy costs drove the company's food costs higher to 34.6 percent of revenue. During the first quarter, it expects dairy prices to decrease.