Chipotle got absolutely hammered in December as sales fell 30%

Chipotle sales down 30 percent in DecemberChipotle sales down 30 percent in December

Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak absolutely destroyed sales at the fast casual chain in December 2015. In a filing with the SEC on Wednesday, the company revealed same-store sales — or sales at locations open for at least a year — were down 30%.

Fourth-quarter sales at Chipotle are expected to fall by 14.6%, that’s a huge decline from the company’s original expected decline of 8%-11%.

Chipotle came under fire over the last several months for two separate E. coli outbreaks and a round of norovirus that hit a location near Boston College in Massachusetts.

Chipotle said sales trends, “may be significantly influence by further developments.”

The cause of the E. coli outbreak still has not been identified, although the company is working with government regulators and investigators to find the cause of the sickness.

Earnings per share for the fourth quarter are expected to hit $1.70-$1.90. Analysts had predicted $2.49 per share in the fourth quarter before the outbreak was reported.

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Chipotle said it expects to incur $14-$16 million worth of charges related to E. coli situation, including replacing food at some locations and analyzing food samples in labs.

Shares at Chipotle are down nearly 40% over the last three months.

In it’s SEC filing Chipotle also revealed that it was, “served with a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in connection with an official criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations. The subpoena requires us to produce a broad range of documents related to a  Chipotle restaurant in Simi Valley, California, that experienced an isolated norovirus incident during August 2015.”

Chipotle isn’t estimated which charges it might incur from the investigation.

Written by Tammy Johnson

Tammy Johnson

Tammy Johnson is the Retail Editor at BusinessPundit. She focuses on Fortune 500 retail company's and disruptive brick-and-mortar and e-commerce companies that are changing the retail landscape.