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Chipotle inventory rallies after long-time skeptic says it’s time to purchase 

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. bounced Thursday, after a long-time skeptical analyst turned bullish, citing “enticing” valuation and indicators that gross sales tendencies will speed up.

The fast-casual Mexican meals restaurant chain’s inventory

rose 2.7% in afternoon buying and selling, a day after it closed at a five-month low.

UBS analyst Dennis Geiger raised his score to purchase, after being at impartial for the previous 16 months, and at promote for at the least two years earlier than that. He raised his inventory value goal to $1,700, which is now 27% above present costs, from $1,575.

“We see near-term catalysts to reaccelerate gross sales tendencies, from elevated eating room volumes as client mobility grows and elevated digital gross sales are retained, upcoming pricing will increase and new product and loyalty contribution,” Geiger wrote in a be aware to purchasers. “Moreover, a number of development alternatives stay underappreciated, together with [long-term] contribution from Chipotlanes, potential for rising repurchase exercise, and worldwide unit growth.”

Don’t miss: ‘Chipotlanes’? Chipotle CFO says the thought of drive-through service was controversial at first.

Geiger additionally mentioned the inventory’s risk-versus-reward profile “skews considerably to the upside” after the current pullback.

The inventory had tumbled 12.4% in Might by Wednesday, whereas the SPDR Client Discretionary Choose Sector exchange-traded fund XLY had misplaced 6.3% and the S&P 500 index SPX had declined 1.6%.

FactSet, MarketWatch

In late April, the corporate reported first-quarter income that rose 23.4% to $1.74 billion, as same-store gross sales grew 17.2% and digital gross sales soared 133.9% to a file, and to signify half of total gross sales. The corporate additionally boosted its inventory repurchase program by $100 million.

Geiger mentioned he expects elevated pricing, anticipated in the summertime and fall, to face simply modest buyer resistance. Learn extra about current value hikes.

“Gross sales drivers proceed to resonate and seem on pattern with buyer needs — UBS Proof Lab survey highlights a multiyear enchancment in key model perceptions and demand for digital, loyalty, supply and menu selection,” Geiger wrote.

Of the 32 analysts surveyed by FactSet who cowl Chipotle, 19 (59%) fee it the equal of purchase and the remainder fee it the equal of maintain. Geiger’s new inventory value goal is roughly in keeping with the common of $1,709.07.

Chipotle’s inventory has rallied 30.3% over the previous 12 months, whereas the patron discretionary ETF has run up 40.0% and the S&P 500 has hiked up 40.1%.

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