Chipolte Mexican Grill Inc. Quarterly Valuation – May 2015 $CMG

CMGBenjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 5 Most Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – April 2015.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a specific look at how Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (Chipotle) develops and operates Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants, which serve a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads. The Company operates 1,755 restaurants in the United States, seven in Canada, six in England, three in France, and one in Germany. The Company’s restaurants also include nine ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants. The Company owns and operates two Pizzeria Locale restaurants, a fast casual pizza concept. It also provides a variety of extras, such as guacamole, salsas and tortilla chips seasoned with fresh lime juice and kosher salt. Its restaurants also offer sodas, fruit drinks, organic milk, beer and margaritas. The average restaurant size is about 2,550 square feet and seats about 58 people. The Company’s restaurants also feature outdoor patio space. The Company’s restaurants accept orders by fax, online or through an iPhone or Android ordering application.

Defensive Investor – must pass at least 6 of the following 7 tests: Score = 4/7

  1. Adequate Size of Enterprise – market capitalization of at least $2 billion - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition – current ratio greater than 2 - PASS
  3. Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 10 straight years - PASS
  4. Dividend Record – has paid a dividend for at least 10 straight years - FAIL
  5. Earnings Growth – earnings per share has increased by at least 1/3 over the last 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end of period - PASS
  6. Moderate PEmg ratio – PEmg is less than 20 - FAIL
  7. Moderate Price to Assets – PB ratio is less than 2.5 or PB x PEmg is less than 50 - FAIL

Enterprising Investor – must pass at least 4 of the following 5 tests or be suitable for a defensive investor: Score = 4/5

  1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 1 – current ratio greater than 1.5 - PASS
  2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition, Part 2 – Debt to Net Current Assets ratio less than 1.1 – PASS
  3. Earnings Stability – positive earnings per share for at least 5 years – PASS
  4. Dividend Record – currently pays a dividend - FAIL
  5. Earnings growth – EPSmg greater than 5 years ago - PASS

Valuation Summary

Key Data:

Recent Price $635.48
MG Value $503.04
MG Opinion Overvalued
Value Based on 3% Growth $189.46
Value Based on 0% Growth $111.06
Market Implied Growth Rate 20.07%
Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) $13.16
PEmg 48.64
Current Ratio 3.56
PB Ratio 9.41

Balance Sheet - March 2015

Current Assets $985,000,000
Current Liabilities $277,000,000
Total Debt $0
Total Assets $2,704,000,000
Intangible Assets $22,000,000
Total Liabilities $569,000,000
Outstanding Shares 31,600,000

Earnings Per Share

2015 (estimate) $16.76
2014 $14.13
2013 $10.47
2012 $8.75
2011 $6.76
2010 $5.64
2009 $3.95
2008 $2.36
2007 $2.13
2006 $1.28
2005 $1.43

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham

2015 (estimate) $13.07
2014 $10.53
2013 $8.19
2012 $6.53
2011 $5.00
2010 $3.77

Dividend History
Chipotle does not pay a dividend.


Chipotle is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not for the Defensive Investor.  The Defensive Investor is concerned by the lack of dividends, and the high PEmg and PB ratios, while the Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the lack of dividends.  As a result, Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach based on Benjamin Graham’s methods should feel very comfortable proceeding with further research and comparing the company to other opportunities.  From a valuation side of things, the company appears to be overvalued despite growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $5.00 in 2011 to an estimated $13.07 for 2015.  This level of demonstrated growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 20.07% earnings growth as such a high growth rate is generally unsustainable over a long period of time and leads the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, to return an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

The next part of the analysis is up to individual investors, and requires discussion of the company’s prospects.  What do you think?  What value would you put on Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG)?  Where do you see the company going in the future?  Is there a company you like better?  Leave a comment on our Facebook page or mention @ModernGraham on Twitter to discuss.

Disclaimer:  The author did not hold a position in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG) or in any other company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  Logo taken from Wikipedia for the sole purpose of identifying the company; this article is not affiliated with the company in any manner.






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