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Why Chipotle Mexican Grill, Barnes & Noble, and Moneygram International Tumbled Today

Dan Caplinger
April 17, 2014

Despite having a three-day weekend ahead of them, investors didn't appear to have much holiday spirit, as the stock market didn't stray too far from the flatline Thursday. A mix of positive and negative earnings reports largely kept broader markets mixed, but that didn't prevent some stocks from posting sharp losses as trading ended for the short week. Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), and Moneygram International (NASDAQ: MGI) were all among the worst performers on the day.

Chipotle Mexican Grill fell 6% after the fast-casual Mexican-food restaurant chain didn't live up to the high expectations of its investors. Although revenue jumped 24% on a 13.4% gain in same-store sales, earnings per share fell far short of what shareholders had wanted to see from the burrito giant. The big culprit: surging food costs, which climbed by more than a third. Although Chipotle accepted the hit to its operating margins during the first quarter, the company said that it would pass through those higher costs in the form of menu-price increases this quarter. Despite Chipotle Mexican Grill issuing higher same-store sales guidance for the remainder of the year, investors appear skeptical whether the company will be able to hold onto customers in light of higher prices.

Barnes & Noble dropped 12% after founder Leonard Riggio sold off a huge chunk of his holdings in the