Where Chipotle stock heads next after disappointing first-half stretch, according to Oppenheimer

Raymond James has asked for an extra helping of Chipotle.

Analysts at the firm upgraded the stock to a strong buy, expecting the chain to be able to pass off increasing costs to the consumer.

But, the stock has had a disappointing first half of 2021. After double-digit rallies in the previous three years, it's barely positive over the past six months and has fallen more than 11% from an April peak.

Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, said this underperformance gives it "rotation potential."

"In this bull market, investors are going to look for this stock at least for a trading rally from here and, as it stands based on technicals, a trading rally makes sense," Wald told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday.

"It's curling up from the lower end of its range, which is marking support at around $1,320. That extends back to the January low in the stock and we can see the more recent price action … marked a little bit of a very near-term breakout above $1,375," said Wald.

Those two higher lows have formed a double bottom that should lend support to more gains from here, he predicted.

"The stock is positioned for a rally to the upper end of its range, conservatively $1,500 with the prior high at closer to $1,550," he said.

Chipotle closed Monday just above $1,391. A move to $1,550 implies 11% upside.

Nancy Tengler, chief investment officer at Laffer Tengler Investments, bought into the stock in March 2020 when it fell below $500. While it has rallied 235% since those pandemic lows, Tengler still sees further upside.  

"A lot of the good news is reflected in the price of the stock but if you look at it on a relative price-to-sales ratio, which is how we look, it's still attractive because sales have been growing pretty robustly over the last five years," Tengler said during the same segment.

Chipotle reported 7% sales growth in 2020. Analysts surveyed by FactSet anticipate another 23% increase this year.

"Our favorite theme … has been where consumer meets digital," Tengler said, referring to Chipotle's online ordering push. "We think from here the stock is still an attractive place to be."

Disclosure: Laffer Tengler Investments holds CMG.


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