Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Chipotle continues to suffer from the negative publicity surrounding the E. coli and norovirus outbreaks. Sales have taken a severe hit post the outbreak and the company has withdrawn the 2016 comps outlook due to volatile sales trends. Also, estimates have been going down ahead of Chipotle’s third quarter earnings release. Meanwhile, the company has mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, Chipotle’s efforts to maintain its market position via expansion plans coupled with various sales and technology driven initiatives may boost results, going forward. Yet, margins are expected to remain under pressure due to higher labor expenses. Chipotle also intends to roll out a number of marketing and promotional activities to bring back customers to its stores. The costs associated with these will continue to impact profitability.”

Analyst Recommendations for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG)

CMG has been the subject of a number of other reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. decreased their price objective on Chipotle Mexican Grill from $490.00 to $445.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Nomura restated a neutral rating and issued a $420.00 price objective on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a report on Friday, June 3rd. Jefferies Group restated a sell rating on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a report on Friday, August 5th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on Chipotle Mexican Grill from $488.00 to $517.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Vetr downgraded Chipotle Mexican Grill from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $449.21 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $480.36.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) opened at 410.16 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $11.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 59.09 and a beta of 0.59. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $408.20 and a 200-day moving average price of $431.37. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a one year low of $384.77 and a one year high of $757.00.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.06. Chipotle Mexican Grill had a net margin of 5.24% and a return on equity of 11.22%. The firm earned $998.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion. On average, equities research analysts expect that Chipotle Mexican Grill will post $3.74 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill by 139.5% in the fourth quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 7,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,707,000 after buying an additional 4,500 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the fourth quarter worth about $115,041,000. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its stake in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill by 14.9% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 7,084 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,336,000 after buying an additional 919 shares during the period. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX boosted its stake in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill by 4.6% in the first quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX now owns 7,315 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,445,000 after buying an additional 324 shares during the period. Finally, Sigma Planning Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the first quarter worth about $317,000. 96.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc, together with its subsidiaries operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. The Company’s Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants serve a menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. The Company operates approximately 1,970 Chipotle restaurants throughout the United States, over 10 in Canada, seven in England, four in France and one in Germany.

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