Chipotle is an Orphan Stock

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I gave my thoughts to on Chipotle (CMG) to Kyle Woodley for a story he wrote for US News and World Reports. Chipotle is a great company and one of the great growth stories of the past decade. But unfortunately, the stock is something of an orphan right now:

“This is the issue with Chipotle today: It’s a stock without a buying clientele,” says Charles Sizemore, founder of Sizemore Capital Management, a fee-based registered investment advisory firm based in Dallas. “It was a high-flying momentum stock that has now lost its momentum.”

Chipotle was a hot mover for years prior to 2015’s nosedive. Shares more than tripled from their October 2012 lows in the mid-$200s through its all-time high of $758.61 in August 2015. That included a rapid move of about 25 percent that drove CMG to its peak in about six weeks.

However, a decline of roughly 35 percent hasn’t exactly been followed by a lot of dip-buying…

Before Tuesday’s report, CMG was trading at 28 times trailing earnings and 37 times forward earnings. “And while those numbers aren’t off the charts for a restaurant stock,” Sizemore says, “Chipotle doesn’t follow a franchise model. A franchise model is generally more profitable in terms of return on equity and commands a higher earnings multiple. Chipotle manages its own stores and has no plans to franchise.”

That leaves CMG in a precarious position. Sizemore says Chipotle’s lost momentum means “trend followers probably won’t return to it. But it isn’t cheap enough yet to attract value investors. So it’s something of an orphan right now.”

You can read the full article here.

Photo credit: Mike Mozart

Charles Sizemore is the principal of Sizemore Capital. As of this writing, he had no position in any security mentioned in this article. 

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