Chipotle has come a long way since their highly publicized E. coli outbreak in 2015. And this week, Chipotle’s stock reached an all-time high, indicating that this could be their best quarter yet. The company’s shares are up 60 percent from the previous year and 80 percent since a brief lull in December.
Chipotle’s turnaround began when they brought in a new CEO last year. Since then, the company has launched a new marketing campaign and expanded its menu. The company also increased its presence in digital ordering apps.
And this month, they teamed up with Venmo to expand their loyalty program nationwide. All of this has caused more engagement among Chipotle’s customers and huge growth for their digital platform.
Analysts are cautiously optimistic
All signs seem to point to the company’s continued success and Baird even raised Chipotle’s target price from $650 to $760. But some analysts, like S&P’s Erin Gibbs, were more wary, pointing out that the stock is still somewhat extended.
Gibbs said analysts shouldn’t take advantage of Chipotle’s turnaround just yet. While she agreed that the company’s growth is promising, she said the stock is still a little too high at this point. Gibbs said she would be more comfortable with a 615 entry point.
Frank Cappelleri, the chief marketing technician at Instinet, agreed with this assessment. He said Chipotle’s stock seems to be stuck in an “inverse head and shoulders pattern,” where it repeatedly goes up and then falls again.
However, Cappelleri said if Chipotle can break out of this pattern, the stock could rise above $700.
The bottom line
As of Wednesday morning, Chipotle’s shares were at $696.69, which is a 52-week high. The company’s turnaround is real and shouldn’t be diminished. They’ve experienced big gains through their loyalty program and expanded their digital platform and are on track for more growth in the future.
However, recent history has shown that any amount of bad press for the company can send the stock plummeting. And in the restaurant industry, anything can happen. Investors might want to hold off and wait for a better entry point.