Moe's Southwest Grill Stock

Moe’s Southwest Grill Stock Price and Symbol

9 min read

What is Moe’s Southwest Grill’s stock price, and are they publicly traded? Investors cannot purchase Moe’s’ because they are a private company. However, traders can invest in their competitor Chipotle (NYSE: CMG).

Moe’s Southwest Grill is a privately owned company of a larger restaurant conglomerate, Focus Brands. You may recognize some of their other holdings, including Cinnabon, Carvel, Schlotzky’s, Jamba Juice, and Auntie Anne’s. Altogether, Focus Brands operates over 5000 stores worldwide, most in the United States or Canada. Will Moe’s Southwest Grill or Focus Brands become publicly traded?

Currently, there are no concrete plans from the firm to go public. However, we’ll attempt to outline a few reasons that could lead to this down the road.

Chart by TradingView

The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the restaurant industry. As a result, there could be an increased interest for privately-owned companies to turn to the public markets to raise capital. Fast casual dining has been one of the more popular sectors in recent years, especially with food that can be considered a step up in quality and nutritional value from your traditional fast food restaurants. 

Most investors are familiar with Chipotle (NYSE: CMG), one of the best-performing restaurant stocks on the market, which trades at quite a high valuation.

If you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard of one of Chipotle’s direct competitors: Moe’s Southwest Grill. 

Moe’s Southwest Grill Stock History

Moe’s was founded in December of 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia, by a now-defunct brand called Raving Brands. The idea behind Moe’s was a ‘Mexican Subway.

One that would be higher quality than most of the fast food burrito restaurants on the market. In 2007, Focus Brands bought Moe’s, which had 360 locations across America.

Today, Moe’s has well over 700 locations, including international stores as far away as Russia, Turkey, and Jamaica. Although, there’s still no Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price.

Moes Stock

Comparisons to Chipotle

Side-by-side comparisons will always be used when analyzing companies. Therefore, Moe’s should be no exception here. The industry leader and chief rival for Moe’s is Chipotle. 

And for good reason, too. Chipotle has triple the locations that Moe’s currently has. It has a market cap of over $37 billion. That’s a lot of burritos! 

Chipotle was founded 27 years ago in Denver, Colorado. Since then, they’ve spread like wildfire across the United States. They’ve established locations in Canada, the U.K., France, and Germany. 

Chipotle’s revenues in 2019 topped $5.5 billion. As a result, they’ve established themselves as one of the premier fast-casual restaurant chains in North America.

What separates the two brands? The obvious difference in financial standing is that Chipotle is a public company while Moe’s is still private. As a result, there isn’t a Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price.

Is that a positive or negative? It’s up to who’s analyzing a company. However, Chipotle has expanded faster due to the capital raised from its stock. 

Could Moe potentially benefit by being a publicly traded firm? Sure, but the situations of these two brands are completely different.

If Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price had that same success, we might see a great investment. A stock offering would be nice.

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Are Moe’s and Chipotle Owned By the Same Company?

Chipotle was an independent chain before going public. At the same time, Moe’s is still owned wholly by Focus Brands. In fact, because of this chain of command, Moe’s would realistically have to wait for Focus Brands to go public. Subsidiaries rarely, if ever, branch out to the public markets from their parent company. So then the next question arises. Would Focus Brands ever go public?

There have been rumors over the years that Focus Brands would consider filing for an IPO if the circumstances were right.

Those circumstances haven’t come to fruition for the Atlanta-based company, however. Further muddying the waters is that Focus Brands is owned by a private equity firm called Roark Capital Group.

Therefore, the ultimate decision would come from them. So what would it mean if Focus Brands went public and gave us a Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price?

Restaurant Conglomerates

Will there be a Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price? As long as Moe’s is a subsidiary of Focus Brands, there’s a good chance it’ll never be a publicly traded stock.

What we can take a look at, though, is if Focus Brands decides to be taken public as a restaurant group. We have some successful examples of this already in the markets with Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) and Restaurant Brands Inc (NYSE: QSR).

Could Focus Brands compete with these two conglomerates? Absolutely, and we’ll talk about why Restaurant Brands Inc. is an even more interesting case, given the current state of the market and SPAC IPOs.

Yum! and Restaurant Brands, Inc.

Yum! Brands Inc. is one of the most successful restaurant groups in the world. They own several marquee brands, including KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Wing Street.

They have locations all over the globe, with the one exception being China, where Yum China runs them. This is a spinoff from Yum! Brands are independently managed.

Did you know it trades under its ticker symbol (NYSE: YUMC)? Yum! Brands had 2019 annual revenues of $5.5 billion and employees over 34,000 workers worldwide.

Restaurant Brands Inc. is a very interesting case. Especially when we compare it to Focus Brands. RBI, as it is also known, owns some pretty heavy hitters in the fast food industry.

Specifically Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Restaurant Brands Inc. has numbers similar to those of Yum! Brands and Chipotle have 2019 annual revenues of over $5.3 billion.

Restaurant Brands Inc. may be a good comparison because of how the company was brought to the public markets: a SPAC IPO. A Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price could be good if it were to come to the market.

SPAC IPO

New investors may be more familiar with a SPAC IPO since 2020 has seen a rash of them. Recently, companies such as DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG), Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA), Hyliion (NYSE: HYLN), and Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) have all raised their capital through a SPAC IPO.

SPAC stands for Special Purpose Acquisition Company and is a managed shell company that exists purely to raise capital to form a reverse merger with another company. Why is this important? Because…..

A SPAC IPO was announced in August of this year and is looking to team up with a restaurant industry company to bring them to the public markets.

Focus Brands

The SPAC, called FAST, has been rumored to be interested in companies like Five Guys, Ruby Tuesdays, or Raising Canes’, but is it so far-fetched to think Focus Brands could be a candidate?

Not, considering that Kat Cole, the Chief Operating Officer of Focus Brands, is an advisor for the FAST SPAC executive team. This team wants to convey that they want a strong brand with an enterprise value above $600 million.

Could Focus Brands fall into that category? Maybe, although you would be hard-pressed to find the casual investor who knows about Focus Brands and that Moe’s is a subsidiary.

RBI has been one of the most successful SPAC IPOs of the last decade. Shares began trading on the public markets at around $35 per share and have now peaked at just below $80 per share, with a very strong 3.50% dividend yield.

Bill Ackman, a famous investor and American hedge fund manager, managed the SPAC IPO. You can see why investors get very excited when new SPAC mergers are announced.

Final Thoughts: Moe’s Stock

Is there a Moe’s Southwest Grill stock price? Moe’s Southwest Grill continues to be a popular fast-casual dining chain that thrives in America and now abroad.

What are the chances that investors can buy into this company as a publicly traded equity one day? As of right now, it’s not very high.

Many things would have to fall into place for Moe’s to be brought public. It’s not impossible. But Focus Brands has been rumored to be involved in IPO talks for years, and nothing has materialized.

The FAST SPAC IPO could be an interesting way for Kat Cole to bring her company into the public spotlight. She’d be able to leverage her connections to do so.

But if Focus Brands was a true candidate, would the merger not already have been announced? It seems like it’d be a slam dunk. This could mean Cole and the group seek a more exciting name.

One that’s surely to bring in the investments they need to run a successful merger. Investors who want to put money into Moe’s or Focus Brands will have to wait until either is approved to go public. That is if they ever intend to.

If you believe in Focus Brands and Kat Cole’s leadership abilities, taking a small position in the FAST IPO may not be a terrible idea for a long-term horizon.

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