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Chipotle rallies 6% on Ackman's comments, Trump's tax reforms

Chipotle restaurant workers fill orders for customers in Miami, Florida.
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Chipotle restaurant workers fill orders for customers in Miami, Florida.

Things could be looking up for Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Shares of the company jumped 6.04 percent Thursday after hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman said he has had an "extremely constructive relationship" with the company since he took a nearly 10 percent stake in the burrito chain in September.

"Our investors should not be concerned that we're in some kind of hostile engagement here," Ackman said on the fund's quarterly call with investors.

His comments come just after reports surfaced that Chipotle had hired a top Wall Street law firm, public relations shop and investment bank to help defend itself against Ackman.

Ackman said such hires are standard operating procedure for companies when an activist investor buys a stake, according to Reuters.

"The dialogue we've had so far with Pershing has talked about driving long-term shareholder value, talks about recovering the business model and from what they've said so far, they believe Chipotle is a special brand and we're going through a tough time right now and they want, just like everyone else, to see us recover our sales, recover our business and if we do that we're going to get back to our previous stock price and add shareholder value from there," Jack Hartung, Chipotle's CFO said on CNBC's "Mad Money" on Wednesday.

Ackman's team believes that marketing, menu, technology and governance initiatives will help the shares recover from a 40 percent swoon since last year's high-profile food safety lapses.

The burrito chain's shares have rallied more than 4 percent since the presidential election earlier this week. Chipotle is expected to benefit from business-friendly tax reforms championed by President-elect Donald Trump.

Chipotle stock since Tuesday

Source: FactSet

— Reuters contributed to this story.