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The Chipotle Challenge

Chipotle Mexican Grill is “one of the hottest, fastest-growing stocks in the whole market,” Cramer said Monday.

Seemingly to prove the point, the restaurant chain just reported a blow-quarter. Earnings per share came in at $1.46, 7 cents higher than the Street’s estimates. Revenues, up 20% year-over-year, were better than expected. And same-store sales growth clocked in at 8.7%, a noticeable jump from the 1.7% Chipotle earned in the same quarter last year.

And there’s more growth to come, as the company plans to open between 120 and 130 new restaurants this year. A London shop opened in May, and one in France is expected for mid-2011. Plus, Chipotle is opening locations in lower-occupancy areas where the real estate is less expensive. Ten of these are already up and running, and management said it cold generate cash returns in excess of 50%.

Chipotle is part of Cramer’s high-growth C.A.N.D.I.E.S. group, which also includes Apple , Netflix , Deckers Outdoor , Intuitive Surgical , Express Scripts and Salesforce.com . And like these other stocks, barring Salesforce, CMG has lagged the S&P 500 since he first recommended them on June 3. But given that quarter, Cramer thinks there should still be plenty of gains to come from Chipotle.

To find out what is next for Chipotle, Cramer invited Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung onto Mad Money. Watch the video for the full interview.

When this story published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned Apple.

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  • Jim Cramer

    Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

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