Beyond Meat beats forecasts in 1Q, shares soar over 20 percent

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat beats forecasts in 1Q, shares soar over 20 percent

Its stock jumped more than 25% to $125 a share in after-hours trading.

The company, which went public last month, also reported a net loss of $6.6 million, compared with a net loss of $5.7 million past year.

Adjusted for stock-based compensation costs and other items, the company lost 14 cents a share. That was better than the 15-cent loss analysts had forecast. Analysts had expected sales of $38.9 million.

It also issued above-expectation guidance for full year 2019, forecasting sales to rise 140% year on year to $210m (vs a consensus estimates of $205m). Sales were about evenly split between groceries and restaurants.

Ten-year-old Beyond Meat burst into the spotlight last month with its successful IPO on the Nasdaq. Beyond Meat is now valued at almost $6 billion.

It's one of the biggest names in a growing category of vegan "meats" that are meant to appeal to both vegetarians and meat eaters.

Shares of Beyond Meat Inc. surged 27 per cent on Friday after the vegan burger maker forecast that sales would more than double over all in 2019 after they tripled in the first quarter.

Chief executive officer Ethan Brown, on a postearnings conference call with analysts, said the forecast was "very conservative" and views it "as a floor".

Beyond Meat's imitation meat patties and sausages are made from ingredients such as pea protein, coconut and canola oil.

Sean Saenz, senior director of meat and seafood operations at Gelson's, which owns 28 stores across Southern California, said the retailer did not see strong sales when it initially placed Beyond Meat in the freezer. Losses could continue as Beyond Meat expands distribution, invests in infrastructure and creates new products.

Brown also expressed confidence that the company can scale up quickly if it enters into further partnerships with restaurant chains.

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.

Tim Hortons announced in May that it is testing Beyond Meat's sausage patty in three of its breakfast sandwiches. The performance shows "mainstream consumers' desire for plant-based meat products in the United States and internationally", he said.

'It's nothing that would break our system, ' he said.

The stakes are high in the battle over supermarket real estate, as upstart Beyond Meat seeks to quickly carve out its place in the meat section in the face of pushback from meat producers before more plant-based rivals from Impossible Foods and Nestle SA hit the market.

That growth has competition, however, including Impossible Foods, which has inked deals with Burger King for its Impossible Burger, and other fast food giants.

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