Can Chipotle Deliver on Such High Expectations?

Fans of Chipotle (NYS: CMG) know the chain’s trademark foil wrapping, but investors seem to be imagining gold foil around the burritos these days.

Shares of the burrito king have been on fire lately, jumping over 20% in the last three months as the stock sets a new record high seemingly every week. The upward momentum seems to be based almost entirely on the broad market’s blowout first quarter, as well as other macroeconomic factors such as the warm winter. It’s often a foreboding sign when a stock jumps so much without direct cause. With the burrito chain set to report earnings today after markets close, let’s take a closer look at what the last few months have brought the salsa slinger and see what investors should look for on the call.

Is this performance all-natural?

Since trading near $320 in mid-December, Chipotle’s shares have climbed almost 40% on almost no news out of the company itself, other than its middling earnings report from the beginning of February.

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