Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is set to report its most recent financial results after the markets close on Tuesday. The consensus estimates are $3.22 in earnings per share (EPS) and $1.38 billion in revenue. The third quarter of last year reportedly had $2.16 in EPS and $1.23 billion in revenue.
Chipotle shares are trading near all-time highs ahead of this report, and it has been a long road to reach the milestone. The momentum for this stock really took off when Brian Niccol took over as chief executive officer in March 2018.
When Niccol took the reins, Chipotle was a $325 stock and near multiyear lows. Now it is a top-performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, vastly outperforming the broad markets with its stock up about 97% year to date. The performance is more or less the same over the past 52 weeks.
The burrito chain’s fall from grace started in 2015 when news broke that customers had fallen sick from E. coli. A few other outbreaks afterward and a data breach shed doubt on the future of the company. Ultimately, a change at the top was necessary, and it seems to have paid off.
The turnaround at Chipotle extends to most of the business. The company introduced a limited-time carne asada menu item recently, and in the past it introduced queso. The Chipotle App and partnering with Doordash also have opened the burrito chain to what was a largely untapped market of delivery.
A few analysts weighed in on Chipotle ahead of the report:
- Loop Capital has a Buy rating and a $950 price target.
- BTIG Research has a Buy rating with an $890 price target.
- Morgan Stanley rates it as Equal Weight with a $746 price target.
- SunTrust Banks has a Buy rating with a $920 price target.
- Merrill Lynch’s Neutral rating comes with an $850 price target.
- KeyCorp has an Overweight rating with an $870 price target.
Shares of Chipotle traded at $848.65 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $383.20 to $857.90. The consensus price target is $823.50.