Chipotle Still Has Room to Run, SunTrust Note Says

Chipotle's menu innovations seen as a tailwind for the company going forward.
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Chipotle (CMG) - Get Report shares still have more room to run in 2020 thanks to innovations in the company’s menu to include a mix of salads and “lifestyle” bowls, according to a note from SunTrust Monday.

Chipotle originally launched the lifestyle bowls, which are designed to cater to customers on keto, Whole30, and paleo diets, in January and SunTrust analyst Jack Bartlett sees the company relaunching those items in 2020.

“Our guess is that the new ‘Lifestyle Bowls’ will be promoted and offered online exclusively, but we believe employees have been trained to better handle in-store orders, which could open the door to in-store marketing of the bowls,” Bartlett wrote.

Those efforts could boost same store sales by 8% in the first quarter, according to Bartlett. The analyst has a buy rating and $900 price target on the company.

Chipotle shares were down 0.13% to $835.74 Monday afternoon. Chipotle shares are up 94% year to date thanks to a strong push in digital sales, which accounted for nearly 20% of all sales in the third quarter.

In addition to the Lifestyle bowls, Chipotle is expected to release a new salad blend that includes baby kale and baby spinach.

“We do not expect the new salad mix and ‘Lifestyle Bowls’ to be as incremental as they were when first launched, or as carne asada has been, but we are encouraged by this early sign of continued menu innovation in ’20,” analysts said.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray also had a bullish note on the company Monday with the firm having an outperform rating and $904 price target on Chipotle’s stock.