May. 5, 2014, 2:34 PM
- Valuation on Chipotle (CMG) looks reasonable again to Raymond James after shares of the restaurant operator peeled off 20% in just over a month.
- The investment firm raises its rating to Outperform from Market Perform on its view that the Q1 margin hit which caused a bit of a shock will be short-lived.
- Chipotle's double-digit comparable-restaurant sales growth for Q1 keeps looking better and better as more peers report soft comps.
May. 2, 2014, 9:28 AM
- A report from Technomic indicates the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry increased sales by 11% and unit count by 8% last year to easily outdistance the average growth in the sector.
- Panera (PNRA), Chipotle (CMG), and Panda Express (private) all generated double-digit sales growth during the period.
- The trend hasn't gone unnoticed by fast-food operators. Taco Bell (YUM) plans to launch two new concepts - U.S. Taco and Urban Taproom - in California, while KFC (YUM) is experimenting with KFC Eleven. Red Lobster (DRI) is also active in testing the segment with its Seaside Express concept.
Apr. 30, 2014, 9:21 AM
- Shares of Noodles (NDLS) and Panera Bread (PNRA) trade lower in premarket action after the fast-casual restaurant chains fail to come anywhere close to matching the double-digit comparable-sales growth that Chipotle (CMG) churned up for the first quarter.
- Restaurant sector analysts have noted that speed of service and simplicity of menu are two significant factors in the segment.
- Panera Bread is addressing its "mosh-pit" order pickup issue, while Noodles thinks it can regain traffic to bring scale back into play for margin expansion.
- Execs with both companies made a strong case during their earnings calls that Q1 results were due to transitory or one-time factors.
- Conference call transcripts: NDLS, PNRA
- Premarket: NDLS -6.5%, PNRA -5.6%, CMG -0.3%
Apr. 28, 2014, 2:51 PM
- The restaurant industry is watching with interest a late push by waiters and bartenders in Seattle to drum up support against a proposed $15-per-hour minimum wage law in the state.
- The group fears a minimum wage law hike will significantly lower the level of tips servers receive from customers.
- The big picture: The potential for minimum wage increases - either on a federal level or state by state - has been a hot topic in dissecting restaurant stocks. Some analysts see a significant bottom line pinch as companies have a difficult time passing on the extra costs to consumers in the form of higher prices.
- Related stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN.
Apr. 23, 2014, 1:50 PM
- Janney Capital Markets delivers some common sense commentary on McDonald's (MCD -0.2%) and its recent stumble in the U.S.
- Analyst Mark Kalinowski notes the company's vast number of menu items slows down service times and can lead to kitchen confusion and order mishaps.
- At one time restaurant analysts chided Chipotle (CMG -1.9%) for its single pipeline approach to customer queues and simple menu, but the chain has bested most rivals in improving comparable-store sales over the last year.
Apr. 22, 2014, 2:31 PM
Apr. 21, 2014, 8:03 AM
- Chipotle (CMG) is upgraded by JPMorgan to an Overweight rating from Neutral.
- Oppenheimer thinks investors should buy shares of the restaurant chain on any weakness.
- Last week, Chipotle reported sizzling comparable store sales growth in Q1, but also noted it was getting hit by higher food input costs.
- What to watch: An across-the-menu price increase from Chipotle is expected something this year.
- CMG +1.0% to $524.53 premarket
Apr. 17, 2014, 2:04 PM
- The fast casual segment of the restaurant industry continues to create turmoil for the casual dining portion as improved quality and nimble service proves hard for consumers to ignore.
- A smashing 13% gain in comp sales by Chipotle (CMG -4.2%) in Q1 demonstrates the ability of the fast-casual superstars (NDLS, PNRA) to continue to carve out market share even as the retail sector shows slow growth.
- Restaurants analyst think the issue might run deeper than just a consumer unimpressed by an oversupply of undifferentiated dine-in brands. Regional chains and independent concepts have a significant culinary innovation advantage that could prove difficult for the larger casual dining chains to overcome.
- Casual dining stocks: CAKE, RRGB, IRG, DIN, DENN, EAT, CBRL, BWLD, FRS, RT, BOBE, BDL.
Apr. 17, 2014, 8:20 AM
- Chipotle (CMG) expects to open 180 to 195 new restaurants in 2014.
- The company says it sees high single digit comparable restaurant sales growth for the year. The wild card in the mix is if Chipotle were to raise prices which could take that estimate higher.
- Previous: Traffic up, margins down at Chipotle.
- CMG +1.0% premarket
Apr. 17, 2014, 8:12 AM
- Chipotle (CMG) reports comparable-restaurant sales rose a sizzling 13.4% in Q1 on strong traffic trends.
- Restaurant level operating margin fell 40 bps to 25.9%.
- The company says food costs were up 150 bps during the quarter. Prices on avocados, beef, and cheese were all higher.
- A new $100M buyback authorization approved by the board comes on top of the $77M still available on an old line.
- CMG +3.7% premarket
Apr. 17, 2014, 8:01 AM| 2 Comments
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Apr. 2, 2014, 1:17 PM
- The National Retail Federation wants Congress to pass the bipartisan Save American Workers Act to amend the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time employment from 30 hours per week to 40 hours a week.
- The measure could have important consequences for the restaurant industry.
- Restaurant stocks: CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, SONC, WEN, THI, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN
Apr. 2, 2014, 11:08 AM
- P-E firm KarpReilly is reported to be considering an IPO for its Cafe Rio restaurant chain.
- The fast-casual Mexican chain is one of the closest things to a Chipotle (CMG -1%) competitor.
- Last year, the company had sales of $137M for its 68 units.
- The average check per person at Cafe Rio came out to $9 which is fairly level with Chipotle.
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