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Actionable news in CMG: CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Inc,

Chipotle Shares Are Crashing

Things weren't looking so fresh for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG - Get Report) Tuesday, Oct. 24, after the bell.

That was when the fast casual chain reported third-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street estimates by nearly $1.

Chipotle posted earnings per share of $0.69, way off compared to the analyst consensus of $1.64. It claims that the low earnings per share reflects a $0.64 impact of being systematically hacked in May and about $0.13 from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Its revenue increased 8.8%, to $1.13 billion, as compared to the same period last year and restaurant sales increased 1%. Net income for the third quarter was $19.6 million.

Shares are down nearly 10% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

In its earnings release, Chipotle also announced that it opened 38 new restaurants in the three-month period ending on Sept. 30 and closed or relocated three.

"We continued to make important progress to improve the guest experience at our restaurants during the quarter," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO of Chipotle, in a prepared statement. "Our strategic initiatives in operations, innovating our digital sales platform, new menu introductions and marketing the brand are starting to take hold."

In the earnings call, Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatright announced that Chipotle has poached Mike Malanga from Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Get Report) to lead development and advise the C-suite. There are also new menu initiatives in the works, the company said, including frozen margaritas, salad greens, desserts and a new beverage program.

Wall Street was already downbeat on the restaurant chain before it released its earnings Tuesday, blasting its new queso offering. At least 10 analysts downgraded the stock in the past week, according to Factset.

Chipotle, however, claimed in the earnings call that the queso has helped drive sales and bring in new customers.

"About 19% of these new and returning customers are trying queso while many of the others are were simply driven by the advertising," said Chief Marketing Officer Mark Crumpacker.

Chipotle's dismal Q3 earnings is salt on the wound of two already terrible years for Chipotle. In May, it revealed that most of its roughly 2,250 restaurants were compromised in a cybersecurity breach. Stolen data included customers' names and credit card numbers. At the time of the massive hack, Chipotle was still recovering from its food safety lapses—and the subsequent PR nightmare—from 2016 and 2015.

Startbucks is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells SBUX? Learn more now.

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