Beyond Meat Inc BYND shares traded higher Thursday before moving lower in the afternoon, and remain down 56.6% year-to-date after the company reported a larger-than-expected first-quarter net loss following the launch of its new plant-based jerky.
On Wednesday, Beyond Meat reported a first-quarter adjusted EPS loss of $1.58 on revenue of $109.5 million. Both numbers fell short of consensus analyst estimates of a $1.01 per-share loss and $112.3 million in revenue. Revenue was up 1.2% from a year ago.
Beyond Meat blamed the recent launch of its jerky product for a sharp drop in gross margin from 30.2% a year ago to just 0.2% in the quarter. Total volume increased 12.4% for the quarter.
Despite the unexpected $100.5-million net loss, Beyond Meat reiterated its full-year sales guidance of between $560 million and $620 million.
Voices From The Street: BMO Capital Markets analyst Kenneth Zaslow said Beyond Meat bulls are hoping the company’s short-term margin pain will result in long-term gains, but the company is dealing with a litany of problems.
“That said, we expect BYND to generate sales within its guidance while gradually making progress on shoring up margins,” Zaslow wrote.
Mizuho analyst John Baumgartner said jerky is weighing on profits and Beyond Meat is giving investors very little profit visibility.
“We believe the path of least resistance for shares is lower, but emphasize potential for a significant short covering rally when/if MCD (not covered) announces a broader launch of McPlant,” Baumgartner wrote.
Bank of America analyst Peter Galbo said Beyond is struggling to keep up with higher-growth peers such as Oatly Group AB – ADR OTLY and Freshpet Inc FRPT.
“Our sales multiple is at a discount to other high growth peers within consumer staples including OTLY (Oatly) & FRPT (Freshpet) given that we view BYND’s lower likelihood of disruption,” Galbo wrote.
Beyond Meat Ratings, Price Targets:
- BMO Capital Markets has a Market Perform rating and cut the price target in half from $60 to $30.
- Mizuho has a Neutral rating and lowered the price target from $35 to $21.
- Bank of America has an Underperform rating and lowered the price target from $45 to $20.
- BYND Price Action: Beyond Meat shares were trading down 2.94% Thursday afternoon at $25.40, according to Benzinga Pro.
Photo courtesy of Beyond Meat.