Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Chipotle continues to suffer from the negative publicity surrounding the E. coli and norovirus outbreaks. Sales have taken a severe hit post the outbreak and the company has withdrawn the 2016 comps outlook due to volatile sales trends. Also, estimates have been going down ahead of Chipotle’s third quarter earnings release. Meanwhile, the company has mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, Chipotle’s efforts to maintain its market position via expansion plans coupled with various sales and technology driven initiatives may boost results, going forward. Yet, margins are expected to remain under pressure due to higher labor expenses. Chipotle also intends to roll out a number of marketing and promotional activities to bring back customers to its stores. The costs associated with these will continue to impact profitability.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $446.39 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $490.00 target price (down from $500.00) on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research report on Thursday, June 23rd. Morgan Stanley reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $405.00 target price on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. BTIG Research reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $500.00 target price on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Chipotle Mexican Grill currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $481.78.

Analyst Recommendations for Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG)

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Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) opened at 402.76 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $408.46 and a 200 day moving average of $432.68. Chipotle Mexican Grill has a one year low of $384.77 and a one year high of $757.00. The firm has a market cap of $11.73 billion, a PE ratio of 58.03 and a beta of 0.59.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.06. Chipotle Mexican Grill had a return on equity of 11.22% and a net margin of 5.24%. The company earned $998.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.06 billion. On average, equities analysts forecast that Chipotle Mexican Grill will post $0.24 earnings per share for the current year.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 522.5% in the second quarter. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. now owns 584,367 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,360,000 after buying an additional 490,487 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 1.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 573,551 shares of the company’s stock valued at $270,125,000 after buying an additional 9,848 shares during the last quarter. Generation Investment Management LLP bought a new stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill during the second quarter valued at $230,936,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 17.3% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 428,415 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,548,000 after buying an additional 63,204 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Marsico Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill by 2.0% in the first quarter. Marsico Capital Management LLC now owns 372,629 shares of the company’s stock valued at $175,497,000 after buying an additional 7,248 shares during the last quarter. 96.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc, together with its subsidiaries operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. The Company’s Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants serve a menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. The Company operates approximately 1,970 Chipotle restaurants throughout the United States, over 10 in Canada, seven in England, four in France and one in Germany.

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