Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) to Hold

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Chipotle have outperformed the industry over the past year. We expect the company to remain on this growth trajectory after fourth-quarter 2018 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Adjusted earnings grew 28.4% from the year-ago quarter, driven by higher revenues and lower food costs. Despite having a good share of negative publicity from a food-borne illness, Chipotle’s viable business strategy and the appointment of Brian Niccol significantly helped in 2018. For 2019, management expects comps to grow in the mid-single-digit range and expects to open 140-155 restaurants. Chipotle's increased focus on food safety and enhancing customer experience, along with various sales-building initiatives, is likely to drive the top line while high costs and intense competition may be concerning in the future.”

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on CMG. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from $418.00 to $415.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 16th. Gordon Haskett assumed coverage on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $385.00 price target on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $450.00 to $510.00 in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. UBS Group set a $370.00 price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $550.00 price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Chipotle Mexican Grill presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $501.39.



Shares of NYSE CMG traded up $19.96 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $602.73. The stock had a trading volume of 33,514 shares, compared to its average volume of 859,622. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a 1 year low of $247.51 and a 1 year high of $606.00. The company has a market cap of $16.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 66.51, a PEG ratio of 2.72 and a beta of 0.60.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The restaurant operator reported $1.72 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.38 by $0.34. Chipotle Mexican Grill had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 17.64%. The company had revenue of $1.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.20 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.34 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts predict that Chipotle Mexican Grill will post 12.16 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Huntington National Bank increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 19.9% in the fourth quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 169 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock worth $73,000 after purchasing an additional 28 shares during the period. Clean Yield Group purchased a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the fourth quarter valued at $86,000. We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the fourth quarter valued at $96,000. Korea Investment CORP increased its stake in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill by 45.4% during the third quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 391 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $178,000 after buying an additional 122 shares during the period. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the fourth quarter valued at $190,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.25% of the company’s stock.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Company Profile

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. As of September 30, 2018, it operated 2,424 Chipotle restaurants in the United States, as well as 37 international Chipotle restaurants. The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Newport Beach, California.

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