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Cramer: Chipotle stock is overpriced and should go lower

  • Despite Chipotle's efforts, the stock is overpriced and should go lower, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • "I want to say it is a work in progress, but I'm going to say it is an overpriced stock," Cramer says.

Chipotle Mexican Grill executives are working to win back customers after food safety lapses, but the stock is still overpriced, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

Cramer spoke when the stock was down nearly 13 percent in Wednesday's trading. Shares of the burrito chain later were down 14 percent, below $279 a share, after it reported disappointing third-quarter results and trimmed its same-store sales forecast. The company also scaled back store expansion plans to get "fundamentals right."

The company has growth of about 2 percent, half that of McDonald's, Cramer said, and the Mexican restaurant chain had "major problems" in the last quarter.

"The only bright spot in this thing was that avocado prices have come down, but I didn't need them to tell me that," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."

The company has a decent rate of return at its stores, Cramer said, but "people haven't come back." Chipotle has faced several safety issues including foodborne illness outbreaks, since 2015.

"You can't have a stock with that high price to earnings multiple that's growing at 2 percent. Not when McDonald's is giving you 4," the host of CNBC's "Mad Money" said.

Cramer said he was particularly discouraged by the company's conference call, where he believed executives were being lax on its results.

During the postearnings call, Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said the company's last quarter presented "challenges" but added: "We are responding to challenges and are strengthening our company."

"There is no time," Cramer said. "This is America and it's business. Chipotle is not going to get the time. The stock is going to go lower."

"I want to say it is a work in progress, but I'm going to say it is an overpriced stock," Cramer added. "McDonald's deserves to go higher and Chipotle should go lower."

CNBC has reached out to Chipotle for comment.

—CNBC's Angelica LaVito contributed to this report.

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