Shares of the Newport Beach, Calif., burrito chain rose 2.1% to $822.45 after Gordon Haskett analyst Jeff Farmer lifted the fast-casual brand to hold from underperform. He jacked up his price target to $740 from $620.
His previously downbeat assessment of Chipotle's prospects had become "increasingly untenable as sales momentum persists even as CMG laps a wave of key drivers," the Gordon Haskett analyst wrote, according to Bloomberg.
In particular, strong third-quarter sales growth at Chipotle appears "less reliant on short-lived demand drivers" such as free delivery, the launch of a rewards program and a national ad blitz, Farmer wrote.
As a result, the Gordon Haskett analyst boosted his estimate of comparable-sales growth at Chipotle to 9.5% from 8.5% for the third quarter, the news service reported.
Fourth-quarter growth is now expected to come in at 7.5%, compared with 6% previously. For all of 2020 the figure is seen at 5.4%, as opposed to 4.6%, the analyst wrote.
Chipotle is slated to report earnings on Oct. 22. CMG is expected to post earnings of $3.15 a share, a 46% bump from the year-earlier period, according to analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.