Is Dunkin' the Next Chipotle?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Once upon a time, there was a unique chain of Mexican-style fast-food restaurants that made some of the best burritos around, at a reasonable price.

Ironically they were owned by a very big, powerful fast-food dynasty known as McDonald's ( MCD). McDonald's decided to spin-off the chain of Mexican-style fast-food restaurants. We know these restaurants under the spicy name Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG). CMG happens to be in correction mode on Wednesday June 27, down almost 6% on over triple the average daily volume.

According to Investor's Business Daily , CMG fell after Investment Technology Group said in a report that "Chipotle's same-store sales comparisons appear to be decelerating sequentially."

ITG estimated Chipotle's second-quarter same-store sales growth at 7.5% year over year. The Wall Street consensus is for CMG to experience close to 10% same-store sales growth.

Now back to our story. As we board our WSTM, or Wall Street Time Machine, conceived many years ago by H.G. Wells, we return to the week of March 6, 2006 and we purchase 200 shares of CMG stock at $41-a-share.

Then we push the "back-to-the-future" button on our WSTM to the week of April 9, 2012 when we sell our 200 shares for a jaw-dropping $442-a-share.

Our original $8,200 investment is sold for $88,400. That's a total return of 1,078%, and we have almost enough money to buy a low-end Tesla electric car.

Except for those on the WSTM, this story has happened to a small number of very lucky investors who saw the potential growth of CMG, as the 6-year chart below demonstrates.

Notice that after running up to almost $150 a share in the week of Dec. 24, 2007, you could have purchased more shares during the week of Nov. 17, 2008 for $36.86, and for the next 3.4 years you would have experienced quite a ride.


We don't have the luxury of going back to the past or accelerating back to the future, but with perfect 20-20 hindsight, we know what is possible.

Who would have dreamed this could happen to a fast-food restaurant stock? Well for starters, how about the brilliant visionaries who purchased MCD or Starbucks ( SBUX) back when their stocks debuted on the public markets.

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