Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - Get Report were climbing 1.2% to $847 Monday after an analyst at Wedbush upgraded his rating of the quick service restaurant chain to outperform from neutral and raised his stock price target to $980, the highest target of all the analysts surveyed by FactSet, from $780.
Analyst Nick Setyan said in a note to investors that he believes the Newport Beach, California-based company is in a leading position to establish a "digital moat" as the industry moves to more digital transactions.
Setyan continues to see near-term momentum as management executes toward this transition and he believes Chipotle is poised to sustain outsized same-store sales and earnings per share growth in the medium- to long-term in an industry where a dearth of growth is likely to command an increasing premium.
SunTrust recently raised its price target on Chipotle's stock to $900 from $815 and maintained its buy rating on the stock.
In July, Chipotle reported second-quarter earnings of $3.22 a share net of a 77-cent expense for asset impairment, restructuring and other costs. Excluding those charges, adjusted earnings came in at $3.99 a share, up from $2.87 in the year-earlier period. Revenue similarly climbed 13% to $1.43 billion, while comparable-restaurant sales rose 10%.
Chipotle is scheduled to report third-quarter financial results on Oct. 22.