TOP STORIES

 

Chipotle's Online Sales Surge amid Coronavirus

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said online sales more than doubled after the coronavirus pandemic hit, rewarding the company's recent investments in its digital operations.

That helped the Newport Beach, Calif.-based burrito chain post a same-store sales decline of 9.8% in its second quarter, less than the 11.5% drop analysts expected. Earnings of 29 cents a share on $8.2 million profit were down from $3.22 a share on $91 million profit in last year's period.

During the second quarter, Chipotle said it had $1.4 billion in sales, slightly better than analysts' expectations of $1.3 billion. The chain reported 40 cents in earnings per share adjusted for one-time items, including pandemic-related costs. Analysts expected 35 earnings per share.

 

Restaurants Rack up Most Closures -- Market Talk

0706 ET - Restaurants have suffered the most permanent closures since the pandemic hit, surpassing retailers, according to new findings from Yelp Inc. There have been 26,160 restaurant closures from March 1 to July 10. The total grew by 2,179 in roughly the last month. Sixty percent of the restaurant closures in July were for good, the ratings site found. Restaurants are having to close indoor dining again in many states and cities, a particular headwind after staffing up and buying supplies to serve more diners. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Unilever Investors to Eye Dividend at 1H Results -- Market Talk

1505 GMT - Unilever's dividend is likely to attract investor attention when the Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods company reports first-half results Thursday. Despite downbeat 1Q sales and scrapping of full-year margin guidance, Unilever has offered reassurance that it would keep paying dividends, rather than cutting them, A.J. Bell says. "It kept the 1Q payment unchanged at EUR0.4104 a share and income-seekers will hope for more of the same, not least as analysts forecast Unilever to be the tenth biggest FTSE 100 dividend payer in cash terms in 2020," says Bell's Russ Mould. Investors are also likely to eye underlying sales growth, operating profit and any broader earnings guidance, the brokerage says. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Livestock Prices Stable Amid Demand Uncertainty -- Market Talk

14:57 ET - Hog markets weaken as signs of improving demand give way to concerns about oversupply, while live cattle traders face uncertainty after months of unusually low slaughtering activity. "It's a guessing game as of (whether) demand is up to eat all the beef that's coming our way," says independent trader Dan Norcini. He says a rise in hog prices yesterday was caused by a spike in cutout value, likely because of higher demand for ham, but that factor wasn't present today. "There's no consistency, we are like a ping pong ball." Live cattle slides 0.4% and hogs rise 0.1%. (paulo.trevisani@wsj.com; @ptrevisani)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 22 
 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Jul 22       +$ 66.46            +$ 14.71 
Jul 21       +$ 79.53            +$ 21.96 
Jul 20       +$ 71.77            +$ 13.51 
 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of production of the animals. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice   94.1 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   99.8 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 
 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose 27 cents per hundred pounds, to $201.15, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell $2.02 per hundred pounds, to $189.28. The total load count was 124. Wholesale pork prices fell $3.37, to $68.58 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 22, 2020 17:33 ET (21:33 GMT)

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