Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report 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 Sales have taken a severe hit post the outbreak and the company has withdrawn the 2016 comps outlook due to volatile sales trends.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)

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $446.39 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a neutral rating and set a $490.00 price objective (down from $500.00) on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research note on Thursday, June 23rd. Morgan Stanley restated a hold rating and set a $405.00 price objective on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. BTIG Research restated a neutral rating on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research note on Sunday, July 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG restated a buy rating and set a $500.00 price objective on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $480.36.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) opened at 410.16 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.94 billion, a PE ratio of 59.09 and a beta of 0.59. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a 52 week low of $384.77 and a 52 week high of $757.00. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $408.20 and a 200-day moving average of $431.37.

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

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CMG. Carnick & Kubik Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the second quarter valued at approximately $308,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the second quarter valued at approximately $475,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,000,000. Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill by 56.6% in the second quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 2,518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,013,000 after buying an additional 910 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,584,000. Institutional investors own 96.65% of the company’s stock.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Company Profile

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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