Beyond Meat’s sales skyrocketed in the first quarter of 2019, the company shared in its first-ever earnings report.
The fake meat company reported sales of $40.2 million — up 215% from the same period a year before.
Anticipation was high ahead of Beyond’s report, as investors waited to find out how the much-hyped company that makes plant-based protein has been performing. Shares jumped about 22% after hours, putting it above nearly five times its IPO price of $25 per share.
The company had a wildly successful initial public offering in early May. Beyond plans to use the money it raised to invest in new and existing manufacturing facilities and increase its research and development as well as its marketing capabilities, among other things.
Sales growth was driven by higher demand for the Beyond Burger and an increase in the number of retailers and restaurants that sell Beyond Meat’s products, which include meatless sausage and beef crumbles.
The fake meat maker posted a loss of $6.6 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of $5.7 million in that period a year ago. It expects overall revenues to exceed $210 million this year, up more than 140% compared to last.
“We are very pleased” with the IPO and first quarter results, Beyond’s president and CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement Thursday. The performance shows “mainstream consumers’ desire for plant-based meat products in the United States and internationally,” he said.
Since the company went public, its stock has ballooned on sustained interest in plant-based protein, as well as Beyond’s own momentum.
Tim Hortons announced in May that it is testing Beyond Meat’s sausage patty in three of its breakfast sandwiches. Later that month, Beyond shared that it will start making its product in the Netherlands next year, in order to reach European customers more quickly.
Plus, Beyond Meat’s stock has also gotten a boost when its competitor, Impossible Foods, announced new partnerships. Impossible has been struggling to meet the high demand for its product, suggesting that as interest increases in Impossible, more customers may turn to Beyond, as well.
Analysts think Beyond has even more potential.
Kevin Grundy, an analyst with Jefferies, pointed to more restaurant partnerships as potential drivers of growth. He suspects that McDonald’s — which says it hasn’t yet decided whether to introduce a plant-based protein item to US menus — could work with Beyond on a meatless product.
“We believe there is a high probability” of McDonald’s launching a meatless product, given that Burger King is selling an Impossible Whopper, he said before the earnings report was released. If Beyond supplies meatless patties to McDonald’s, he said, the company’s value would grow.
Ultimately, Beyond could be a $5 billion-dollar business, according to JPMorgan analyst Ken Goldman. “We think plant-based meat can exceed $100 billion in sales in 15 years, with Beyond taking 5%,” he wrote in a recent note, also published before earnings.
“Beyond is not a startup that can sell a lot of product but make no money,” he added. “It is a legitimate manufacturer that, in our view, has a clear path to bottom-line and cash flow success.”