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Chipotle shares get price target boost to $3200 from $2800



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On Tuesday, Bernstein has increased the price target for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) to $3,200 from the previous $2,800, while retaining an Outperform rating on the stock. The firm cites several reasons for the optimistic outlook, including the chain’s recent initiatives and performance metrics that are expected to drive continued traffic growth.

According to the firm, Chipotle’s recent throughput expansion, consistent brand momentum, strong value proposition, and maturing store base are key factors that provide a solid foundation for sustained traffic increases.

These increases are projected to be in the low single-digit to mid-single-digit percentage range. The firm also expects traffic to benefit from product innovation, store automation, a growing digital sales presence, the shift towards more Chipotlanes, and more personalized marketing strategies.

The firm acknowledges the importance of talent and in-store execution as critical but perhaps underappreciated elements in driving comparable sales growth. With the recent introduction of Chicken Al Pastor and positive in-store execution trends, the firm believes Chipotle’s fundamental position for 2024 is robust.

Updating its same-store sales (SSS) forecast, the firm now anticipates approximately 7% growth for Chipotle in 2024. The firm projects that Chipotle will achieve an average unit volume (AUV) of $4 million within the next 5 to 6 years, surpassing consensus estimates. This achievement is expected to contribute to an expansion of restaurant-level margins beyond 28%, bolstered by sales leverage and labor productivity improvements resulting from enhanced talent and increased store automation.

InvestingPro Insights

In light of Bernstein’s optimistic outlook on Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), real-time data from InvestingPro further enriches the analysis. Chipotle’s Market Cap stands at a robust $79.62B, reflecting its significant presence in the industry. The company’s P/E Ratio, based on the last twelve months as of Q4 2023, is high at 63.27, suggesting that investors are willing to pay a premium for its earnings potential. Moreover, the Revenue Growth for the same period was a healthy 14.33%, indicating that Chipotle is successfully expanding its financial top line.

InvestingPro Tips also highlight that Chipotle is trading at a high earnings multiple and a high P/E ratio relative to near-term earnings growth, which investors should consider when evaluating the stock’s current valuation. Additionally, the company has demonstrated a strong return over the last year, with a Price Total Return of 78.76%, underscoring its impressive performance in the market.

For those seeking more in-depth analysis, there are additional InvestingPro Tips available for Chipotle Mexican Grill at Use coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription, and gain access to a comprehensive set of tips that can further inform investment decisions.


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