Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) will close 2019 the same way it started the year as a "top pick" stock at Piper Jaffray.
Nicole Miller Regan maintains an Overweight rating on Chipotle's stock with a $904 price target.
The bullish case for making Chipotle a preferred investment idea in 2020 is based on three catalysts, Miller Regan wrote in a note.
First, the restaurant chain is poised to deliver near-term comp beats after recent first-hand checks point to a potential top-line growth in the mid-single digit range in the fourth quarter. The company could report same-store sales growth as high as 10%, which is above the current consensus estimate of 9.3%.
Second, Chipotle restaurant offers superior unit-level economics compared to its peers. For example, when the restaurant hit trough levels in 2016 its average unit volume (AUV) was still in-line with other fast casual rivals. The company's "middle-of-the-road" $11 average transaction coupled with expectations for AUV growth in the coming year, AUV and unit-level return metrics could become "even more impressive."
Finally, the "contrarian" bullish call for 2020 is based on expectations for earnings per share to rise to $25 to $30 in 2021. The undiscounted value at current levels implies a 75% upside potential based on current multiples.
Shares of Chipotle traded around $834.50 Monday morning.
Here's What Drive-Thrus Mean For Chipotle Investors
Which Restaurant Stocks Is RBC Hungry For?
Photo credit: Chis Potter, Flickr
|Dec 2019||Initiates Coverage On||Sector Perform|
|Nov 2019||Upgrades||Market Perform||Outperform|
View More Analyst Ratings for CMG
View the Latest Analyst Ratings
See more from Benzinga
- 4 Free Fast-Food Offers For The Holidays
- Which Restaurant Stocks Is RBC Hungry For?
- Here's What Drive-Thrus Mean For Chipotle Investors
© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.