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Chipotle hits 4-year low after Deutsche Bank predicts even bigger stock price losses

  • Deutsche Bank tells clients Chipotle doesn't deserve a premium valuation due to its lack of progress since its food safety issues in 2015.
  • The firm lowers its price target for the restaurant chain to $250, which is 19 percent lower than Monday's close.
  • Chipotle shares hit a low Tuesday morning not seen since February 2013.

A turnaround for Chipotle shares is nowhere sight, according to one Wall Street firm.

Deutsche Bank lowered its price target and reiterated its sell rating for stock of the burrito restaurant chain, saying it doesn't deserve a premium valuation anymore because of the company's lack of progress recovering from food safety issues that arose in 2015.

"Chipotle has remained under pressure for much of the last two years as investors' concerns over its fundamentals and share price uncertainty persists," analyst Brett Levy wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "Many are still hopeful the company can regain its lost lustre, but we believe expectations assume lofty fundamental and valuation expectations, which have yet to consistently materialize … we continue to view significant risk in the story."

Chipotle restaurant workers in Miami
Getty Images
Chipotle restaurant workers in Miami

Chipotle's problems with E. coli food safety issues in 2015 resulted in a steep drop in revenue and its stock price.

The issues started in the second half of 2015. Since the second quarter of that year, Chipotle has struggled to regain momentum. Sales are down 4 percent and profits are down around 70 percent in the 12 months ending this June compared with the same period in 2015.

"Given the recent sales and share price reactions to external factors, coupled with still sluggish internal results, we question whether the likelihood of a significant multiple expansion recovery would materialize in the near-term, even if results begin to show a meaningful acceleration," he wrote.

As a result, he lowered his price target for Chipotle to $250 from $315. The new target is 19 percent lower than Monday's closing price.

Chipotle shares hit a low Tuesday morning of $304.10, a level not seen since February 2013. By midafternoon, it was trading above $307 a share. The stock is down 18.2 percent year to date through Monday compared with the S&P 500's 8.5 percent gain.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story.

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