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Analysts from BTIG and FBR & Co. weighed in on Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) today following a promotion and partial mine sale, respectively.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
Analyst Peter Saleh of BTIG weighed in on Chipotle today following its Raincheck promotion, which offers customer one free burrito if they text “rain check” to a provided phone number. The analyst cites customers returning to the restaurant at a “very rapid pace” following the company’s sales losses from its E.Coli scandal. Although the company cannot accurately gauge sales from this free promotion, the analyst believes the resulting increase in traffic indicates the regain of customer trust. He explains, “We believe customer confidence is rebuilding quickly and the current promotional campaign is the first step in a sustained sales recovery.” While he states that recovery will “take time,” the analyst is watching for sales figures over the promotional period to see if the rise in traffic will continue.
After the promotion, the analyst expects traffic to slightly fall and then gradually increase “as consumers regain affinity for Chipotle.” Assuming there are no further issues regarding food safety, Saleh believes investors will believe in the company again.
The analyst reiterates his Buy rating on the company with a $530 price target. Saleh has a 47% success rate recommending stocks with an average loss of (1.9%) per recommendation.
According to TipRanks’ statistics, out of the 30 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 14 gave a Buy rating, 1 gave a Sell rating, and 15 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $517.22, marking a 7% upside from current levels.
Analyst Lucas Pipes of FBR & Co. weighed in on FCX yesterday following the announcement of an agreement to sell 13% of its stake in its Morenci copper mine for $1 billion to JV partner Sumitomo. The analyst notes that the buyer, Sumanti, “already has an ownership interest,” in Morenci, as it owns part of the company pre-sale. The analyst believes the sale price is an “attractive valuation” in relation to current copper prices and the company’s own lower 2016 copper cost guidance.
Freeport’s stake in Morenci is now around $6.5 billion, which “reflects both Morenci’s long-lived resource base and the buyer’s likely higher long-term copper price assumption.” Freeport plans to use the proceeds from the sale to fund its debt under its bank term loan and revolving credit facility, improving its balance sheet. The company has been plagued by falling commodity prices, sending its stock plunging 72% since last year.
Following the agreement, the analyst notes that the sale of its O&G portfolio is its next “highest priority.” Pipes also notes that the sale is a “positive surprise” for investors, as many questioned the company’s “willingness to divest Tier 1 assets.”
On February 15, 2016, the analyst reiterated a Market Perform rating on the company with a $3 price target. Pipes has a 22% success rate recommending stocks with an average loss of (26.6%) per recommendation.
According to TipRanks’ statistics, out of the 7 analysts who have rated the company in the last 3 months, 2 gave a Buy rating while 5 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $6.14, marking a 3% upside from current levels.