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Einhorn's Call on Chipotle Among Week's Highlights

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The end of another week, one that has yet again been chock full of interesting developments. It never gets old -- easy to say when the markets aren't coming apart at the seams.

No sooner did I tout the remarkable run of the restaurant sector over the past several years, than a couple of curious things happened in the sector.

First, on Tuesday at the Value Investing Congress in New York, hedge fund manager David Einhorn presented his latest short case, this one for Chipotle (CMG - Get Report). While I was not in the room this year to see Einhorn's presentation, I was for the past two years, in which Einhorn lambasted Florida land giant St. Joes (JOE) in 2010, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) last year.

Einhorn's short presentations have become legendary, and the market reactions are typically quick and swift. St. Joe's fell 10% on the day of Einhorn's Oct. 13, 2010 presentation and 20% within two days. Green Mountain fell 15% on Oct. 18, 2011, the day Einhorn made his case, and is down more than 70% about one year later.

JOE Chart JOE data by YCharts

GMCR Chart GMCR data by YCharts

In Chipotle's case, shares were down 4% on Tuesday, following Einhorn's presentation, a fairly tepid reaction, so far, anyway. But Chipotle, which had been the one of the big growth stories of the past few years, had already lost about a third of its value between May and September.

After an incredible run up from about $50 in early 2009, shares topped out in the $440 range in May. As much of a fan of the restaurant sector that I've been, Chipotle was one name that seemed to be way too expensive.

I was way early in that presumption though; believing that Chipotle was overpriced at $230 in late 2010. The small short position I initiated at that time, and ultimately closed, was way too early. Now that David Einhorn has weighed in, it will interesting to see where Chipotle goes from here.

CMG Chart CMG data by YCharts

In other restaurant news, the Dave and Busters IPO, which was scheduled to begin trading Friday, was scrapped Thursday, due to "market conditions."
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