June 7, 2019 / 1:28 PM / 5 months ago

Beyond Meat top choice for Wall Street after bullish results

(Reuters) - Shares of Beyond Meat Inc surged 27% on Friday after the vegan burger maker forecast that sales would more than double overall in 2019 after they tripled in the first quarter.

Expectations were high heading into Beyond Meat’s report on Thursday, with its shares having jumped about 400% since its initial public offering a month ago. The better-than-expected results and forecast led the stock to soar nearly 21% in extended trade on Thursday.

At least three brokerages raised their price targets, with Credit Suisse being the most bullish, upping its target by $55 to $125. The Street’s median is $96.

The company is now set to be worth a whopping $7.36 billion, if current gains hold, after having started out with a $2.75 billion valuation on debut.

Beyond Meat expects 2019 revenue to more than double to $210 million. Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown, on a post-earnings conference call with analysts, said the forecast was “very conservative” and views it “as a floor.”

Its forecast did not include the current trials Beyond Meat is undertaking with fast-food chains such as Canada’s Tim Hortons, Del Taco and Carl’s Jr.

“Post-trial adoption would offer upside to guidance,” Jefferies’ Kevin Grundy said. He also upped the price target to $105 from $85.

With McDonald’s and Yum Brands’ KFC restaurants likely to test plant-based meat products this year, the Beyond Meat’s revenue outlook is highly likely to tick higher.

“We now expect $750 million of sales to McDonald’s alone by 2030,” Credit Suisse’s Robert Moskow said.

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.

“When skeptical investors ask how Beyond Meat plans on attacking approaching competition, we think they may overlook the flexibility the company has to invest in price,” J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman said.

FILE PHOTO: Products from Beyond Meat Inc, the vegan burger maker, are shown for sale at a market in Encinitas, California, U.S., June 5, 2019. REUTERS/

Goldman raised his price target to $120 from $97.

Six out of eight brokerages have a “hold” rating, while the other two have a “buy” or higher rating.

“As long as Street forecasts fail to properly reflect Beyond Meat’s remarkable potential, we remain ‘overweight’,” Goldman said.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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