The CEO of Domino’s Pizza, J. Patrick Doyle, said the rumors are simply not true: He’s not moving to Chipotle Mexican Grill to turn business around at the quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, Reuters reported.
Doyle, who is stepping down from the pizza giant at the end of June, said he would not be leaving the business. But he is taking six months to reflect and consider his next move.
“Every other theory about what I’m going to be doing is incorrect,” Doyle said. The rumor mill was fueled by the fact that he led a turnaround at Domino’s that paid off for investors, so it wouldn’t be out of the question that he could be recruited to do the same at Chipotle.
Business has been good at Domino’s, as Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on the company last week from neutral to outperform.
Jason West, a Credit Suisse analyst, said in a note that the stock has lost about 12 percent of its value from recent highs, and yet forward earnings should get a boost, in part, from tax cuts. In addition, “near-term concerns around competition” are already priced in.
West’s price target stands at $220 a share, roughly 15 percent higher than when the note was released on Wednesday.
Credit Suisse’s enthusiasm comes against a backdrop where the fast food giant said in its latest quarterly report (for the third quarter) that profits were up more than 19 percent year over year to $56.4 million, and same-store sales were up 8.4 percent for the same period. Bottom line growth outpaced top line traction, where sales gained 13.6 percent to $643.6 million, which topped the Street at just over $627 million.
The pizza giant also continues to innovate, as it provides consumers more choices in how they pay for their meals. It allowed customers to order pizza from voice-controlled devices in the U.K. in 2017, for example.
According to news from Digiday, one in five customers who can order a pizza with one click through the company’s Easy Order option has asked Amazon Alexa to do so instead.