CMG was down 2.5% vs. the S&P500 today. I decided to look at the historical relationship. Excluding days after earnings announcements, today's was the biggest negative divergence in over a year. CMG volume was nearly 50% higher than normal.
In fact it was one of only two non-post earnings relative drops over 2% in the past year (the other being recently on March 30, 2015 and volume was slightly below normal).
Even if they were to double their earnings in, say, seven years and the P/E came down to 20x, which is still quite a P/E, they stock would be trading then at today's level.
The really big deal for Chipotle is increasing competition. Chipotle has been a trailblazer in fast casual and it takes time for established brands to adjust to new trends. It also takes awhile for new concepts to develop, test, and then enter growth phase. That is now happening. Five years ago many folks looking for lunch had one fast casual option: Chipotle. Today they are seeing 2, 3... 4 and more options nearby that fit the format, price point, and overall vibe. Everyone is hungry to take share from Chipotle.
It's getting interesting for CMG. In the past, the stock has had some down days in response to news (quarterly calls) while the market is up, but now it's starting to see down days with the market up strongly. That's happening today. If it starts showing relative weakness it will be interesting to see how the hedge fund holders and the momentum players handle it. Will they hold CMG due to its growth story or start rushing for the exits?
Maybe existing customers will patronize Chipotle more for going non-GMO. Maybe some people will go to Chipotle for the first time to reward them for going non-GMO. But there is buzz on some science-oriented sites about boycotting Chipotle as a penalty for ignoring the science. Not sure it'll add up to much given the relatively low numbers of science types though.
CMG is showing real resilience here. It shows that there are strong hands holding it (and maybe shorts looking to get out of the trade). Even the most bullish estimates have 2016 at $20+ EPS, so even after today's fall the stock is trading at "only" a ~32 forward P/E. That *should* be seen as overvalued, since growth is without a doubt slowing (law of large numbers, tougher SSS comps, more and more fast casual competition), but instead of dropping to a somewhat reasonable valuation (around $400), we may see it just chop along sideways.
Sometime in the next five years they're going to start doing $2+ EPS and the market will take not and give OME a solid 15x multiple. So I think we're going to a $30 share price. Maybe we'll get the bear market we're due for in the next few years, but I'll hold OME through it.
There are only two ways they could "reduce the debt significantly very soon"
1) Bankruptcy. That is a real possibility and the stock price reflects this.
2) Issue Stock. Perhaps they could do a huge secondary offering of stock to pay down debt, but at today's prices that would mean huge dilution of existing shareholders.
There is no easy way out. Their business looks terrible.
I have to agree. I hadn't looked at Molycorp in a couple of years and a headline grabbed my eye. I looked over the Q4 / 2014 press release including the financials and it's a disaster. I mean, their revenues don't even cover the operations costs ex-depreciation! The fundamentals look terrible - they are bleeding cash and ASPs are sliding. Ugly.