Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) Shares Soar As CEO Expresses Confidence That Outbreak is Over

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While it’s been a terrible 2015 and start to 2016 for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) shareholders, the stock seems to be responding kindly as the company was scheduled to present at the ICR Conference in Orlando, Florida this afternoon. The stock, which bottomed out at around $400, a new 52-week low just yesterday, is up significantly this afternoon.

The company’s CEO, Steve Ells, has exuted confidence as he claims that the E.coli outbreaks of 2015 are a thing of the past and that Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) will begin a major ad campaign next month to hopefully attract those customers back who may have been scared away following the outbreaks. The company also made it clear today that they will not be slowing down their expansion plans, as they have 235 new stores planned to open this year.

The stock is currently trading higher by 5.88% or $23.79 following the positive news, hitting $428.65 per share at the time of us publishing this article. About 2.48M shares traded hands or up 32.62% from the average. CMG has declined 33.27% since June 9, 2015 and is currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 25.78%.

From a total of 25 analysts covering Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) stock, 9 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 15 a “Hold”. This means that 36% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $850 while the lowest target price is $400. The mean of all analyst targets is $603.13 which is 40.70% above today’s ($428.65) stock price. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. was the topic of 59 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Wedbush maintained shares on January 7 with a “Neutral” rating. JP Morgan downgraded shares to a”Neutral” rating and a $555 target share price in their report from a December 22. Credit Suisse maintained CMG stock in a recent report from January 7 with a “Outperform” rating. Credit Agricole initiated the rating on December 9. Credit Agricole has a “Buy” rating and a $645 price target on shares. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group downgraded the stock to a “Market Perform” rating in a report they issued on a January 6.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.04, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 62 funds sold all their Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. shares they owned while 178 reduced their positions. 59 funds bought stakes while 181 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 40.13 million shares which is 40.64% more than the previous share count of 28.53 million in 2015Q2.

Csat Investment Advisory L.P. holds 5.74% of its total portfolio in Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., equating to 9,078 shares. Windward Capital Management Co Ca owns 26,023 shares representing 5.11% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Cim Llc has 4.82% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 13,258 shares. The New Jersey-based Hhr Asset Management Llc has a total of 4.66% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Maryland Capital Management, a Maryland-based fund reported 34,524 shares owned.

Since March 17, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 8 sales for a total of $37.23 million in net activity. Charlesworth John S sold 2,000 shares worth $1.50 million. Crumpacker Mark sold 998 shares worth $729,817. Hartung Jack sold 2,485 shares worth $1.84 million. Friedman Darlene J sold 1,379 shares worth $1.01M. The insider Ells Steve sold 10,090 shares worth $6.98M.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. develops and operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants, which serve a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. The company has a market cap of $12.60 billion. The Firm operates 1,755 restaurants in the United States, seven in Canada, six in England, three in France, and one in Germany. It has 25.57 P/E ratio. The Company’s restaurants also include nine ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants.

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