Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) Hit With Fed Investigation into Norovirus Outbreak


As if things couldn’t get any worse for Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG), today the company was served with a subpoena, which is related to an investigation of a norovirus outbreak in the state of California. While shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) continue to plunge after numerous E-coli reports at the end of last year, this investigation could tarnish the brand even further.

The outbreak being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations is related to an event in which 120 Boston College students who contacted the virus during the week of December 7, 2015.

In other news the company has reported that they will be buying back $300 million in stock and has estimated that same-store sales will decrease 14.6% in the 4th quarter. The stock has fallen 5.07% or $22.71 following this negative news, hitting $425.61 per share. About 2.78 million shares traded hands or 44.79% up from the average. CMG has declined 26.46% since June 2, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 21.77%.

From a total of 26 analysts covering Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) stock, 10 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 15 a “Hold”. This means that 38% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $850 while the lowest target price is $435. The mean of all analyst targets is $629.55 which is 47.92% above today’s ($425.61) stock price. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. was the topic of 51 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Oppenheimer downgraded shares on January 4 to a “Perform” rating. Credit Agricole initiated shares with a”Buy” rating and a $645 target share price in their report from a December 9. Telsey Advisory Group maintained CMG stock in a recent report from December 24 with a “Outperform” rating. Wedbush maintained the rating on December 7. Wedbush has a “Neutral” rating and a $500 price target on shares. Finally, Argus Research downgraded the stock to a “Hold” rating in a report they issued on a December 11.

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 11 selling transactions for a total of $41.52 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 $1.84M. 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 $13.99 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 25.39 P/E ratio. The Company’s restaurants also include nine ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants.