Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) shares plummet as the company continues to face E.coli associated in nine of its restaurants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Friday that an additional seven people were affected by the bacteria, ever since the outbreak that began in October. The ingredient that made people sick has yet to be identified.
“The chain known for touting its quality ingredients said Friday it expects sales to drop between 8 percent and 11 percent at established locations for the fourth quarter if current trends continue. That would mark the first time the figure fell since Chipotle went public in 2006. Chipotle’s stock was down 3.5 percent at $541.53 in midday trading Monday. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Chipotle said sales have been “extremely volatile” since it closed restaurants in Oregon and Washington in early November as a result of the outbreak. Sales plummeted by as much as 22 percent as additional cases were reported, and were down 16 percent for November,” said News Agency Associated Press.
Chipotle is really well known for its company “Food with Integrity” slogan that highlights its efforts in using organic ingredients along with serving naturally raised meat, makes the E.coli situation even more detrimental. Chipotle’s recovery will be lengthier due to further social media awareness, emphasized by Jeffrey Bernstein, a Barclay’s analyst.