Chipotle's (NYSE:CMG) shares are worth far more than their current price, says Cowen analyst Andrew Charles. On Tuesday, Charles named the burrito maker a top pick for 2020, with a price target of $970 per share.
Chipotle's shares rose 3.7% on the news, to nearly $816.
Charles predicts the restaurant chain's new growth initiatives such as delivery and in-store pickup will help to boost sales and profits in the coming quarters.
Charles believes Chipotle's new drive-through lanes will eventually allow the restaurant to double its U.S. store count to 5,000 locations, and perhaps more. He expects these "Chipotlanes" to boost average sales at the chain's restaurants to $2.5 million by 2021 and nearly $3 million by 2024.
In all, Charles estimates that Chipotle's digital sales can account for more than a third of the company's total revenue within the next five years, up from about 18% today. This, in turn, should help to fuel greater same-store sales growth and significantly improve the company's profit margins.
If Charles is correct, Chipotle's stock could rise toward his $970 price target, which represents upside of nearly 19% from today's price. Chipotle's shares are already up almost 90% so far in 2019.