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A mid cap company is defined as a company with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion. A large cap company is defined as a company with a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion. Today, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) is displaying, exactly, a $10 billion market capitalization. Adding to the positive news, Chipotle’s stock continues to set new records each day with a new 52-week high of $322.63 per share set yesterday, July 5th, 2011.
On January 10th, 2010, I wrote an article selecting our 3 restaurant stocks for the new decade. Chipotle was one of our top 3. At the time, Chipotle was trading at $98.06 per share. Readers who bought Chipotle stock following the publishing of my article, generated a return of 229% in just 18 months! Even though many have been incredibly pessimistic with recession talk, Chipotle has still managed to expand and grow by opening new restaurants during the darkest of recessive times (circa late 2008).
At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we wanted Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) to prove itself before selecting it for our premium newsletter subscribers. With 6 more months of proven performance since first writing about the stock, at a time when everyone was crying recession and negativity, we selected Chipotle as our premium newsletter stock selection at $140.41 per share. Since then, the stock has yielded a return of 129% to our premium newsletter subscribers.
Just this week, Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) announced it is expanding its operations into Europe. The restaurant company just hired the property agent Michael Peddar & Co. to scout sites in London and the UK. Soon enough, the $10 Big Mac in London that tourists joke about will become the $10 burrito (based on the pound value and cheap dollar).
Chipotle has over 1,100 restaurant locations in the U.S. and Canada. With huge opportunistic upside for Europe, it’s only a matter of time before the McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) model for burritos is replicated across the BRIC emerging markets: Brazil, Russia, India and China. Sporting a forward growth P/E ratio of 38 and almost zero debt on its balance sheet, Chipotle continues to reinforce our conviction of being a top restaurant for the new decade. Cheers to our premium newsletter subscribers who benefited from a triple digit stock return in what many doom-and-gloomers like Nouriel Roubini still call a recessive economic environment. We’ll continue to find the stock diamonds in the rough as strong candidates like Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) rise above the herd on our radar and lead the U.S. economic recovery.
Competitors to Watch: McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIMD), Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TAST), Tim Hortons Inc. (NYSE:THI), Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK), Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ:PNRA), Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATH), Wendy’s Arby’s Group Inc. (NYSE:WEN), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ:SONC) and Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI).
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