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Chipotle's recovery elusive right now, analyst says

The trouble with Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill probably isn't going to recover from its foodborne illness crisis any time soon, Wedbush Securities analyst Nick Setyan said Thursday.

"Every incremental data point that has come out, we've had to extend our recovery assumptions. I would expect more of the same when Q2 is announced," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Because of that, he has an "underperform" rating on the stock, which he would short.

Chipotle shares took a hit Thursday morning after author Eric Van Lustbader, who wrote the popular Jason Bourne series, tweeted, "My editor ended up in urgent care after being deathly ill all night from eating at Chipotle's."

Food preparation at a Chipotle restaurant
Getty Images

Chipotle's stock dropped as much as 3.4 percent in early morning trading Thursday, but shares began to reverse after the company released a statement that said there have been no reports of illnesses at any of its New York restaurants.

"Moreover, we have excellent health department scores throughout the city, and we continue to have the highest standards of food safety in our restaurants," the statement continued.

Chipotle saw its first-quarter same-store sales plunge nearly 30 percent after a string of high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks.

Setyan said the stock's sharp movement Thursday morning shows that investors are still "jittery" and that any data point that may impact a sales recovery will impact the stocks.

He wants to see something in the company's second-quarter report that gives him more confidence that comparable same-store sales will turn positive in the fourth quarter and are on a path toward the mid-teens for two years in a row starting in 2017.

However, so far Chipotle's efforts — like its new short film and recent giveaways — haven't been enough to turn things around, he said.

"Every incremental data point that comes out is going to delay that recovery trajectory," he said.

—CNBC's Sarah Whitten contributed to this report.