This article is part of our Real-Money Stock Picks series.
When it comes to Chipotle Mexican Grill
Last week's quarterly report caused more panic at the bistro than ever. However, even though customer traffic has slowed, Chipotle's quarter didn't lack spice by any stretch. The burrito slinger's profit surged 61%; its total revenue grew a healthy 21%. Same-store sales may have missed analysts' estimates, but heck, Chipotle's 8% increase in quarterly comps is still incredibly impressive in the current economic environment.
Chipotle's culinary and pecuniary misery has company, too. Former parent McDonald's
Right now, the panic is palpable: Investors are shunning companies that rely on consumers spending on things they like to have, but possibly don't need to have, like dining out or pricier foodstuffs. Whole Foods Market
More drama: Is the new Cantina Bell menu from Yum! Brands'
Right now, anything goes when it comes to pessimistic scenarios about stocks like Chipotle. The sky and stock prices are falling.
That's why we need take a deep breath and count to 10. My timing on Chipotle may not seem impeccable right now, but here's the thing: Nobody really can perfectly predict or time things in the market. Macroeconomically speaking, the world's a mess, and the American consumer's beleaguered and pinching pennies. Regardless, long-term investors will accept times like these as buying opportunities, and if they've already bought shares of the best companies out there (and I consider Chipotle to be one), then they'll hold on tight and ride this out.
Time will tell, but high-quality companies will survive and thrive over the long haul.