Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) Stock: Gaining On New CEO

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is having an overwhelmingly strong start to the trading session in the pre-market hours this morning, and for good reason. The company announced that it has appointed a Yum! Brands (YUM) executive as the CEO of the company. Today, we’ll talk about the news, what we’re seeing from the stock, and what we’ll be watching for with regard to CMG ahead.

CMG Appoints Brian Niccol As CEO

As mentioned above, Chipotle Mexican Grill is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning after the company announced that its Board of Directors has appointed a new CEO. According to a press release that was issued after-hours last night, the company has appointed Brian Niccol as the CEO of the company. This change will become effective on March 5th.

Before being appointed as the CEO of CMG, Brian Niccol served as the CEO of Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell Division. In fact, Niccol is considered to be the responsible for the incredible turnaround that we saw of the Taco Bell business. Also, the current CEO and Founder of CMG, Steve Ells, will become the executive Chairman of the company under this change. In a statement, Ells had the following to offer:

Brian is a proven world-class executive, who will bring fresh energy and leadership to drive excellence across every aspect of our business. His expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a perfect fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant. The Board is confident that Brian’s passion and skillset ideally position him to make the bold moves needed to improve operations and take the company to the next level, all while remaining true to our purpose and the values that are essential to our customers.

Niccol, the newly appointed CEO at CMG, followed the above statement. Here’s what he had to offer:

I am very excited to be joining Chipotle at this pivotal time in its history. I have tremendous respect for the Chipotle brand and its powerful purpose. At Chipotle’s core is delicious food, which I will look to pair up with consistently great customer experiences. I will also focus on dialing up Chipotle’s cultural relevance through innovation in menu and digital communications. This will attract customers, return the brand to growth, deliver value for shareholders and create opportunities for employees.

What We’re Seeing From The Stock 

As investors, one of the first lessons that we learn is that the news moves the market. In this particular case, the news proved to be overwhelmingly positive. After all, under current leadership, CMG has faced some serious issues, starting with the decline of business thanks to food borne illnesses. However, Niccol is is known for turning companies in food service around, and it’s expected that he will do just that with the company. As a result, the stock is soaring. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the gains. Currently (7:49), CMG is trading at $281.00 per share after a gain of $29.67 per share or 11.81% thus far today.

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on CMG. In particular, we’re interested in following the story surrounding the appointment of Brian Niccol and the changes he makes to the company as the CEO. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!

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