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Ahead of the Bell: Chipotle Mexican Grill

NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst raised his rating for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. on Friday, saying the restaurant operator has a promising opportunity to expand into the breakfast category.

Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets said in a client note that even though Chipotle currently has no plans to introduce breakfast items, he expects that the company may wind up introducing breakfast burritos in the future.

He said that Chipotle's current testing of coffee in one of its Washington, D.C., shops may be a precursor to the chain testing breakfast goods somewhere down the line. The analyst thinks that both coffee and breakfast could potentially go nationwide in the future, but has no indication as to the timing of such possible rollouts.

Kalinowski lifted Chipotle to "Buy" from "Neutral."

Chipotle shares finished at $435.87 on Thursday after rising as high as $436.95 earlier in the day. That was its highest level since April 2012.