Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (CMG) - TheStreet

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Chipotle Mexican Grill

(NYSE:

CMG

) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

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    Highlights from the ratings report include:

      • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 25.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
      • CMG's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.00 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.08, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
      • CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC has improved earnings per share by 34.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC increased its bottom line by earning $6.76 versus $5.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.89 versus $6.76).
      • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 35.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $46.38 million to $62.66 million.
      • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 34.93% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 43.75% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

      Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. develops and operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants in the United States, Canada, and England. Its restaurants primarily offer burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads. The company has a P/E ratio of 57.1, equal to the average leisure industry P/E ratioand above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a market cap of $13.17 billion and is part of the

      services

      sector and

      leisure

      industry. Shares are up 23% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

      You can view the full

      Chipotle Mexican Grill Ratings Report

      or get investment ideas from our

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      .

      --Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

      TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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