Could Chipotle's 9-year sales growth streak end?

Food preparation at a Chipotle restaurant
Source: Chipotle
Food preparation at a Chipotle restaurant

Chipotle has an enviable distinction in the restaurant business — one that could soon be a thing of the past, according to some analysts.

Since it went public in 2006, the chain has delivered only positive same-store sales, a key metric for the restaurant industry. And in many quarters, this growth has been especially strong, hitting double-digit territory.

But in light of lingering fallout from an E. coli outbreak at some of its restaurants, analysts are theorizing the chain's enviable streak could soon end. On Friday, the CDC announced an E.coli outbreak involving its locations had spread to four additional states. After the report came out, Chipotle's stock ended sharply lower. In early trade Monday, shares had clawed back some of these losses.

So how bad could the fallout get?

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