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TSC Ratings' Updates: Chipotle

Revenue rose by 18.8% since the year-ago quarter, though EPS declined. Chipotle's deb-to-equity ratio or 2.5 is low but is above the industry average. Its quick ratio of 2.5 demonstrates the ability to cover short-term liquidity needs. Net operating cash flow rose 15.7% to $47.9 million compared with the year-ago quarter. Chipotle's 21.3% gross profit margin has decreased from the year-ago quarter, and its net profit margin of 4.8% trails the industry average.

Shares have plunged 41.3% over the past year, probably driven by the decline of simila magnitude in the overall market. Don't assume that the stock can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, Chipotle is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

We've upgraded Lawson Software (LWSN), which provides enterprise software, from sell to hold. Strengths include the company's increase in net income, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and a decline in the stock price during the past year.

EPS have improved in the most recent quarter compared with the year-earlier quarter, and we feel that Lawson's year-long trend of EPS growth should continue. Net income rose 916.1%, from $730,000 in the year-ago quarter to $7.4 million in the most recent quarter. The company's gross profit margin is 56.9%, having increased from the year-ago quarter. Its net profit margin of 4.2% trails the industry average. Net operating cash flow fell 34.7% to $15.9 million compared with the year-ago quarter. Return on equity slightly decreased, implying a minor weakness in the organization.

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