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Pro Analysis

Shake Shack downgraded on valuation and management turnover: Analyst

Shake Shack
Han Myung-Gu | WireImage | Getty Images

Buckingham Research lowered its rating for Shake Shack shares to neutral from buy, due to concerns the burger chain won't be able to top investor expectations going forward and executive turnover.

The company announced Jeff Uttz will retire as chief financial officer Thursday. Uttz has served as Shake Shack's CFO since Sept. 2013.

"Our sense is that sales and earnings are OK. However, for a stock that likely needs upside (SHAK has beaten every quarter since going public) that may not be good enough ... we believe this uncertainty around near-term results is likely to weigh on the shares," analyst John Zolidis wrote in a note to clients Friday. "Generally we prefer continuity in management and believe Mr. Uttz's pending retirement creates uncertainty until the replacement is named."