A-Brands

Beyond Meat Sees Share Price Fall, Despite Q4 Sales Lift

Share this article

Shares of Beyond Meat Inc fell nearly 20% on Friday after it narrowly failed to make a profit in the fourth quarter despite tripling sales, eating into expectations among investors for the high-flying faux meat maker.

Beyond Meat, which surged nearly ten-fold in market value from its initial public offering price, has since partnered with numerous retail chains and restaurants, including McDonald's, helping the company more than triple its revenue in 2019.

But with rival plant-based meat producers - from Impossible Foods, to Kellogg Co's Morningstar Farms, or Nestle SA's Sweet Earth - vying for shelf space at retailers and deals with food service outlets, analysts say the company is at risk of losing its first mover advantage.

Quarterly Performance

Thursday's quarterly report showed a 1 cent per share loss for the quarter, versus analyst expectations of a 1 cent profit, driving a selloff in the company's shares that wiped about $1 billion off its market valuation. Major U.S. stock indexes tumbled about 3% as the coronavirus outbreak raised fears of a global recession.

"Pricey valuation, increasing competition, and the potential for new selling pressures following the expiration of the lock-up suggest more muted upside potential from here," Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh said.

From a peak of just under $240 last July, shares in the company have now fallen below $100 but still look expensive on a traditional valuation basis at 222.21 times expected earnings.

Parikh and a number of other Wall Street analysts who have backed the company through last year's hype, underlined that the results were still strong, showing it within a whisker of generating a profit at a time when it is investing aggressively in production and launches globally.

Consumer Trends

Piper Sandler analyst Michael Lavery said that Beyond Meat is growing rapidly and its product portfolio aligns with consumer trends.

Another, Jefferies' Rob Dickerson, argued management's focus now on aggressive growth was right, even if it came at the expense of near-term profit and margins.

"Given competition is ramping quickly, we agree with the strategy, especially if management wants to hold its first mover advantage," he said.

"We simply find (the) valuation too rich to step in at this price, given competitive uncertainty and potential capital needs over the next three years."

Dickerson cut his price target on the stock by $23 to $107, closer to the current median of analysts at $111.38.

"Margins should not be a key investment consideration at this juncture," D.A. Davidson's Brian Holland said.

News by ReutersClick subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Get exclusive access to the latest grocery retail & FMCG news, interviews with industry leading executives, and expert analysis on the trends shaping the sector today
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days
Get exclusive access to the latest grocery retail & FMCG news, interviews with industry leading executives, and expert analysis on the trends shaping the sector today
Enjoy unlimited digital access for 30 days

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com