LOS ANGELES, April 25 (Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc reported better-than-expected first-quarter sales at established restaurants, sending shares in the beleaguered burrito seller almost 6 percent higher in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
The Denver-based company reported a 17.8 percent jump in sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, better than the 15.5 percent gain expected by analysts polled by Consensus Metrix. Those sales plummeted 29.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016, when Chipotle was grappling with the effects of several high-profile food safety lapses.
Net income for the first quarter of 2017 was $46.1 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $26.4 million, 88 cents per diluted share, in the year earlier quarter.
Shares in Chipotle, which flirted with $750 prior to the company being linked to 2015 outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus that sickened hundreds of people in the United States, jumped 5.6 percent to $498.
Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker