Chipotle’s stock took another hit
Steve’s breakdown: Chipotle’s new PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, is failing to prob up their stock price. Maybe what they need is better digital communications. Just sayin’
DENVER, CO: Diners have sworn off Chipotle Mexican Grill — and they are not coming back, according to a bank analyst.
The Denver-based chain’s food crisis last year took a permanent bite out of the company, Deutsche Bank’s Brett Levy wrote in a research note Monday.
“Some of these customers may be lost for good,” said Levy, who lowered the company’s 2017 price target to $340 from $360.
Chipotle’s stock closed down 2.8 percent, to $393.75, on Monday and is down 35 percent over the past year.
While Chipotle struggles to regain its footing this year — revenues declined 23.4 percent in the last quarter and same-store sales were down 30 percent — other chains are feasting.
Last week, a poll showed that Moe’s Southwest Grill was the most popular fast-casual Mexican restaurant, followed by Taco Bell and Qdoba Mexican Grill, according to 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Rankings. Chipotle had held the top spot last year.
By another measure, the number of diners who say they “don’t like” Chipotle increased to 24 percent in the second quarter of 2016 — from 18 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a Civicscience brand survey released on Monday.
“There’s going to be a permanent group of people who won’t go back,” said Hedgeye’s Howard Penney. “And even after three years, when Chipotle may see some improvement, their competition will have improved by then, too. They may have had their run.”