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

Editor's Note: 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.

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 good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.4%. 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 3.86, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC has improved earnings per share by 19.5% 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 ($8.90 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 19.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $60.43 million to $72.30 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $123.06 million or 5.94% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.76%.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. develops and operates fast-casual, fresh Mexican food restaurants in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. Its restaurants primarily offer burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a market cap of $8.81 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 19.2% 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 investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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