Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.'s new restaurant concept, the ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, could boost growth for the company down the road, said BMO Capital Markets analyst Phillip Juhan.
THE OPINION: ShopHouse could benefit Chipotle in the future if the chain adds more stores. But Chipotle hasn't disclosed any plans to expand beyond the Washington, D.C., store that opened this month, and Juhan said ShopHouse will have little impact on the business in the near term.
Chipotle's stock price already reflects investors' high expectations for future growth, he added. He maintained his "Market Perform" rating and left his full-year estimates unchanged.
Still, Juhan lauded the burrito chain's new Asian concept after a Friday visit. He said that the food is "terrific," the menu is simple, allowing for speedy service, and development costs are low. It also, like Chipotle, tries to use organic produce and naturally raised meats.
THE STOCK: Shares of Chipotle, based in Denver, fell $7.31, or 2.3 percent, to $313.19 in afternoon trading during a mixed day for stocks in the broader market.
Chipotle's stock risen about 51 percent this year as the burrito chain adds more stores and gains more customers.