The Right Time to Buy Chipotle

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which analyst John Reeves and advisor David Meier discuss topics around the investing world.

Chipotle missed analysts' estimates for both revenue and earnings, and its stock price fell. John and David would love to own shares of the restaurant in their real-money portfolio. Despite the recent results, Chipotle still has plenty of growth ahead of it, both in store openings and with same-store sales. Even with competition from Panera and Yum! Brands, Chipotle still remains a popular place to dine. But what's most attractive are the high returns on invested capital its stores generate. High returns are a clear sign of a competitive advantage, something investors can see clearly in the McDonald's-versus-Burger King saga.

Whether it's missing earnings estimates or having David Einhorn make the short case, Chipotle is losing momentum in the market. John and David think it's OK to start a small position in such a high-quality company today. But the key will be to watch the sentiment. If the negativity grows, the multiples will contract. An EV/EBITDA multiple below 10 (it's at 13 currently) would be a great place to make a big investment.

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David Meier has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. John Reeves owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald's, and Panera Bread. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Burger King Worldwide, Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald's, Panera Bread, and Yum! Brands. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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