With Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) down sharply from its highs, many investors are confused about whether buying today means catching a falling knife or making a prudent investment.

Consumer goods analyst Austin Smith thinks it's neither. He believes Chipotle is an exceptional company whose valuation got ahead of it. He suggests investors recognize that the stock now trades closer to those multiples shared by the company's high-growth peer group.

Austin Smith owns shares of McDonald's. Chris Bledsoe has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald's, Panera Bread, and Starbucks and has the following options: short JAN 2013 $47.00 puts on Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald's, Panera Bread, and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.