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Chipotle analysts are anticipating a pretty horrific report this afternoon

Chipotle (CMG) reports its second-quarter results on Thursday after the bell, and investors are looking for signs of a turnaround after the restaurant chain’s E. coli crisis last year.

In particular, analysts are focused on same-store sales performance (which looks at the sales of Chipotle locations open at least a year). Analysts estimate second-quarter same-store sales fell 20%, which would actually be an improvement over Q1’s 30% plunge.

Earnings per share for the second quarter are expected to come in at $0.91, while in the first quarter it posted a loss of $0.88 per share. Still, bears continue to question suggest last year’s food-safety crisis may have done permanent damage to Chipotle.

Investors will also listen closely for traffic trends in July. The company introduced a rewards program — “Chiptopia” — on July 1 that will run through the end of September. Customers participating in the program earn a free entree with their fourth, eighth and 11th visits in a given month.

Problems continue to plague the fast-casual Mexican chain

It’s been a rough year for Chipotle investors. The stock is down over 40% compared with a slight rise in the S&P 500 (^GSPC).

While traffic does continue to improve, the company has...


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