7 Comments

Summary:

Chipotle stock is up more than 470 percent over the past three years — a run that beats out even the impressive one Apple’s stock has been on. Despite that, hedge funds and stock analysts are picking the iPhone maker over the burrito maker far more often.

chipotle

Earlier this morning we got an email newsletter from YCharts Pro that compared the stock of  Chipotle Mexican Grill’s, hot salsa of a stock performance with another red hot stock (and no I don’t mean the new iPad inventory), Apple.

…just a niche burrito maker… has hit a new 52-week high most trading days this year. Not a lot of investment experts saw that coming.
Chipotle shares are up more than 20% this year. That makes a 60%-plus gain for the past 12 months and 470% plus gain for the past three years – a figure that made it a better investment than Apple (AAPL).

So is Chipotle really the Apple of the burrito business? People who invest the big money seem skeptical. More hedge funds own Apple as a Top 10 investment than any other stock, and analysts’ buy recommendations on its shares outweigh holds more than 5 to 1. Chipotle doesn’t even make the list of important hedge fund stocks, and its shares get a decidedly more mixed reception among analysts. YCharts Pro gives the company great marks for fundamentals, but the worst possible score for share valuation.

Now there isn’t much love for Chipotle in the rest of the newsletter, but when we look around the GigaOM offices post lunchtime, I see a lot of Chipotle wrappers. Their salads seem to be popular with our team. For me, it is all too salty, so I instead focus on somewhat more prosaic and basic salads while I window shop on my new iPad.

Update: Apparently, The Atlantic had a long philosophical post about Chipotle and iPhone that is worth reading.

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  1. OM, food is never really out dated. Tech always at some point in time. So my vote goes to burrito… mmm :-)

    1. most users want their apps to be intuitive and easy to use without turning to the equivalent of a computer manual. Like it or not, thats the way most people — outside the tech bubble work and that’s why the Google search page is so great. No muss no fuss. Tools are a way to get things done, not a subject that must be studied.

  2. Katie Fehrenbacher Thursday, March 29, 2012

    This makes me hungry. Heading over to grab a Chipotle veggie bowl with brown rice.

  3. Steve Ells has a lot of money. Good for him.

  4. Saying Chipotle is a niche burrito maker is like saying Apple is just a company that sells pretty computers.

    Your newsletter guy may be an OK stock picker. I’m not convinced about quality knowledge on food or restaurants.

    1. Agreed, no knowledge here. Let the replies speak for you ,OM

  5. John Prescott Saturday, March 31, 2012

    The hedge fund players are the problem with investing & how do you know when they are even telling the truth? Obviously they have limitations just like a fortune teller or
    A palm reader-only they have high tech to assist them. But do you really believe these guys are going to share their best investments with the public–for free? Get real.

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