Chipotle's stock surges toward record after Wedbush boosts rating, price target to Street's highest

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG, +2.39% rallied 1.1% in premarket trading Monday, after Wedbush Nick Setyan raised his rating and price target to become the the most bullish analyst on Wall Street on the quick casual restaurant chain. The stock was on track to open above the Aug. 29 record close of $843.64. Setyan upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral, saying Chipotle is in a leading position to establish a digital moat, as the industry transitions to a larger mix of digital transactions. He boosted his stock price target to $980 from $780, which is now the highest target of the 34 analysts surveyed by FactSet, and 17% above Friday’s closing price of $836.32. “We not only continue to see near-term momentum as management executes towards this transition, we believe [Chipotle] is poised to sustain outsized [same-store sales] and [earnings-per-share] growth in the medium to long term in an industry where a dearth of growth is likely to command an increasing premium,” Setyan wrote in a note to clients. The stock has nearly doubled (up 93.7%) year to date through Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.08% has gained 14.9%.

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