Chipotle 1Q profit up on sales surge

DENVER - Mexican food chain Chipotle's first-quarter net income rose 8 percent. Higher food costs were offset by a sales surge as more customers bought its burritos and other fare.

Shares rose more than 2 percent in premarket trading.

Higher costs for food beef, avocados and cheese as well as higher litigation costs ate into profit and earnings missed expectations.

The Denver company says for the three months ended March 31, net income rose to $83.1 million, or $2.64 per share. That's up from $75.6 million, or $2.45 per share, last year. Analysts expected $2.86 per share.

But revenue climbed 24 percent to $904.2 million from $726.8 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $872.9 million. Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 13.4 percent.

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