Chipotle's Stock Tanks After Missing Estimates

Chipotle's Stock Tanks After Missing Estimates

On Thursday, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) reported after the bell that it missed its revenue numbers. The market reacted with swift eight percent drop.

Revenue came in at $690 million, missing the $707 million forecast by analysts, while earnings per share was a brighter spot at $2.56, higher than $2.30 estimates.

The dive continued on Friday morning as Chipotle fell 23 percent to $309.50 at 9:56 a.m. ET, reported Bloomberg. This is quite a fall from grace as the company had been the best-performing restaurant stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2011. The drop represents its greatest one since its IPO in 2006.

In an analyst call, Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung said sales had been affected by slower U.S. consumer spending through the year. He added that this year’s hot weather my increase food costs later in the year.

With the negative news, analysts began slashing price targets, according to Reuters.

In a client note, BMO Capital Markets analyst Phillip Juhan wrote, “We continue to worry about slower growth in the second half of 2012 (in the absence of) additional menu pricing, acceleration in multiyear traffic trends, or a positive margin surprise.”

He cut the stock’s target price to $410 from $440.

Jefferies & Co analysts followed suit. In a note by analyst Andy Barish, he noted that Chipotle didn’t still have double-digit same-store sales to push the stock. Barish wrote, “Same-store sales appear to have peaked, and while a marketing push could benefit traffic, we are concerned about the company’s lack of organic sales-driving initiatives.”

His price target on the stock was slashed to $305 from $362.

But there’s more. Barclays Capital decreased its price target $375 from $396 and Wedbush Securities cut its target to $420 from $480.

Another analyst believed there were some bright spots from the report. Peter Saleh, a  Telsey Advisory Group analyst said via Bloomberg, “When the environment slows, everybody suffers. With that said, the rest of the story looks great.”

So how did it look? Second-quarter revenue rose 21 percent to $690.9 million. This compares to analyst estimates of $707.3 million.

Net income increased 61 percent to $81.7 million ($2.56 a share), up from $50.7 million ($1.59) from the previous year. Analysts had estimated $2.30.

The company had forecast mid-single digit comparable-restaurant sales growth for 2012, coming in under the 10.2 percent growth for the 2012’s first half, reported Barron’s.

Chipotle, which opened its inaugural Asian-themed eatery in 2011, has tried to increase sales by promoting its sustainably raised and locally sourced ingredients, said Bloomberg. In the Chipotle stores open at least 13 months, sales increased eight percent.


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