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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - Get Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Report shares are up by 0.67% to $469.25 in Thursday's pre-market trading session, as the burrito maker is looking to apply the fast-casual model to a new area--the burger industry. 

The company filed a trademark application earlier this month for the term "Better Burger," according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, Bloomberg first reported on Wednesday.

Starting a burger chain could be a profitable move and give the Denver-based company a way to expand under a fresh banner, as the company continues to recover from a series of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks linked to its restaurants.

"It's a growth seed idea we are exploring," Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told Bloomberg.

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With Chipotle looking to enter the burger market, this would bring new competition to Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Shake Shack (SHAK).

Separately, Chipotle has a "hold" rating and a letter grade of C+ at TheStreet Ratings because of the company's strengths, such as respectable return on equity, and its weaknesses, including generally disappointing stock performance, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: CMG

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.

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