As Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) Shares Continue to Fall, Company Looks for Ways to Win Back Customers and Investors Alike

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Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) have taken yet another hit in trading today, as the company is recovering from devastating E.coli and norovirus outbreaks which have pushed the stock down quite heavily over the past couple of months. In trying to earn back the respect of both customers and investors alike, the company will move forward with plans to increase their marketing and food safety budgets.

“We think Chipotle is pretty much near its low point and can’t get any worse,” said Sean Sun, an associate portfolio manager at Thornburg Core Growth Fund..

Food safety is of utmost concern for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), so their goal is to prove to customers and investors that they are taking these incidents seriously. If they can do so through adequate marketing, we could see a surge in the stock price sometime in 2016.

The stock is down 2.24% or $10.67 following the news, hitting $465 per share. About 3.20M shares traded hands or 60.00% up from the average. CMG has declined 20.73% since June 29, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 13.21%.

From a total of 29 analysts covering Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) stock, 13 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 15 a “Hold”. This means that 45% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $850 while the lowest target price is $23. The mean of all analyst targets is $548.93 which is 18.05% above today’s ($465) stock price. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. was the topic of 72 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Barclays Capital maintained shares on February 3 with a “Equalweight” rating. Wells Fargo upgraded shares to a”Outperform” rating and a $23 target share price in their report from a February 3. Goldman Sachs maintained CMG stock in a recent report from February 3 with a “Buy” rating. RBC Capital Markets maintained the rating on February 3. RBC Capital Markets has a “Outperform” rating and a $500 price target on shares. Finally, Maxim Group maintained the stock with a “Hold” rating in a report they issued on a February 3.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.04, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, 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.

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 $15.12 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 27.74 P/E ratio. The Company’s restaurants also include nine ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants.