Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. rallied 1.1% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the fast casual Mexican restaurant chain was upgraded at Maxim Group, which cited optimism over the introduction of queso and valuation. Analyst Stephen Anderson raised his rating to buy from hold and raised his stock price target to $470, which is 20% above Monday's closing price of $392.00, from $440. Anderson has now swung to bullish from bearish (sell) on Chipotle in seven months. The upgrade comes a week before Chipotle reports second-quarter results. "We contend the introduction of queso--a Mexican cheese dip--which is now in test, will be an important catalyst for [Chipotle] in 2018," Anderson wrote in a note to clients. "We now argue the recent pullback in [Chipotle] shares, along with the potential for upside from queso, provide an opportunity for investors to participate in [Chipotle's] recovery." The stock has tumbled 16% over the past three months to close Monday at a 6 1/2-month low, while the S&P 500 has climbed 5.0%.
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