Beyond Meat shares leap following first report since IPO

Beyond Meat

Shares of the plant-based meat substitutes firm founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown soared to as high as 23 percent in after-hours trading Thursday before settling down 18 percent at $117.49.

The El Segundo, Calif. -based chain said its net revenues more than tripled in the quarter ended March 30, to $40.2 million.

Looking forward, Beyond Meat now expects full-year revenues to be in excess of $210m - ahead of the $205m priced in by analysts.

Beyond Meat's first earnings report since going public on May 2 easily beat analysts' expectations, with the company now predicting it will more than double its revenue this year compared to 2018.

Beyond Meat's imitation meat patties and sausages made from ingredients like pea protein, coconut and canola oil, while a great alternative for consumers conscious of the environment, still needs to put in the work to get more takers as they cost much more than beef burgers. To put that into perspective, revenue past year was all of US$88 million.

Sales are growing as people seek to cut down on meat for health and environmental reasons. The space is only getting more crowded, and the sooner Beyond Meat can solidify brand loyalty among shoppers and satisfactory performance for grocers, the stronger position it will have as Nestlé, Impossible Burger and others reach grocery aisles.


But Brown is not cowed by rivals, he said. Sales were about evenly split between groceries and restaurants.

Beyond Meat plans to expand into Europe and Asia, he said.

Nestle, the world's biggest packaged foods group, seeks to sell a pea-based veggie patty called Awesome Burger under its US plant-based Sweet Earth brand in the fall.

That growth has competition, however, including Impossible Foods, which has inked deals with Burger King for its Impossible Burger, and other fast food giants. And Tyson Foods, which was an early investor in Beyond Meat, is now creating its own plant-based product. Beyond Meat is now valued at almost $6 billion. California's Gelson's Market told Reuters that when placed in the freezer section, Beyond Meat didn't sell well, but since being moved to the vegan section, sales of the product are up 60%. Brown said the company believes it has the capacity to handle demand for the next two years.

Tyson Foods Inc, the largest US meat processor, is also working on its own line of alternative protein products after it sold its stake in Beyond Meat in April. With rapid consumer adoption of Beyond Meat and similar products, the potential added sales could offer a big boost to grocers' profits during a time when every dollar counts.

The plant-based burger company did not comment, but noted in its regulatory filings that its growth could be stunted depending on placement.

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