Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors 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.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. UBS Group set a $370.00 target price on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $590.00 price target (up previously from $550.00) on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a report on Thursday, January 31st. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from $415.00 to $420.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. BTIG Research lifted their price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from $515.00 to $605.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from $420.00 to $540.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, February 7th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Chipotle Mexican Grill presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $505.29.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill stock opened at $593.66 on Monday. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a fifty-two week low of $250.63 and a fifty-two week high of $612.60. The company has a market capitalization of $16.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 65.53, a P/E/G 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 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 firm had revenue of $1.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.20 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.34 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Chipotle Mexican Grill will post 12.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CMG. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 255.0% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 792,000 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $359,980,000 after buying an additional 568,900 shares during the period. Capital International Investors lifted its holdings in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 220.1% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 738,410 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $335,622,000 after buying an additional 507,700 shares during the period. Baillie Gifford & Co. acquired a new position in Chipotle Mexican Grill in the third quarter valued at $229,937,000. Jennison Associates LLC increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 128.5% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 830,269 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $377,374,000 after purchasing an additional 466,849 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 2,464.4% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 218,202 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $99,177,000 after purchasing an additional 209,693 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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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