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Why Chipotle Shares Jumped Monday

By Daniel Miller – Jun 1, 2020 at 3:32PM

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Chipotle received a vote of confidence from an an analyst who expects better same-store sales performance during the second quarter.

What happened

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG -1.24%), the largest U.S. fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, jumped more than 5% higher early Monday as the company received a vote of confidence from Wedbush Securities analyst Nick Setyan.

So what

Setyan said channel checks indicated Chipotle's same-store sales were better than expected and that stores operating at 50% capacity were up by high single-digits or low double-digits. Chipotle has also recorded strong off-premise sales trends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of those factors, the Wedbush team raised second-quarter same-store sales estimates to a 9% decline, better than the previous 20% decline, and Setyan believes it's possible sales comps could turn positive as soon as the third quarter.

Three tacos on a plate

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

"We believe a premium is justifiable given our expectation of accelerated growth post-COVID as CMG's market share gains accelerate," Setyan noted. Wedbush reaffirms its outperform rating on Chipotle and also boosted its price target to $1,200 per share from $870. While the economic recovery, and the speed at which restaurant traffic will rebound, is uncertain, Chipotle investors can rest well knowing the company has the scale to remain price competitive -- an important aspect during economic slowdowns. The fast-casual restaurant should be well positioned to take market share with its price competitiveness and stronger off-premise sales as the economy gradually improves.

Daniel Miller has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Stock Quote
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
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