Beyond Meat, the US-based plant-based meat company, experienced a significant drop in its shares after failing to meet a key financial target and revising its sales outlook. This has raised concerns among investors and analysts about the company’s future prospects. The declining consumer interest in plant-based meat has resulted in a decrease in sales for Beyond Meat and its competitors. The higher price of these products compared to traditional meat, coupled with questions about taste, texture, and health benefits, have deterred many shoppers from making repeat purchases.
In the latest trading session, Beyond Meat’s stock fell by as much as 22%, marking the largest drop since November 2020. Despite a 24% increase earlier this year, the company announced that it is unlikely to achieve its goal of becoming cash-flow positive in the second half of 2023. Furthermore, Beyond Meat has revised its revenue outlook for 2023 to a range of $360 million to $380 million, down from the previous range of up to $415 million. The company’s second-quarter revenue also fell short of Wall Street’s estimates, and its cash reserves have been declining for nine consecutive quarters.
Analysts, such as Arun Sundaram from CFRA, have expressed disappointment at the guidance cut and the company’s financial performance. Sundaram believes that Beyond Meat needs to make significant changes to prevent further financial struggles, including addressing its cash burn and considering the possibility of raising capital. Despite the challenges, Chief Executive Ethan Brown remains optimistic about the future of plant-based meat. He expects modest sales growth in the third and fourth quarters of this year compared to the previous year. Brown emphasized the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and stated that widespread consumption of plant-based meat is inevitable, although it may take longer than initially anticipated.
During a call with analysts, Brown acknowledged the need for a shift in strategy but affirmed that the company’s long-term plans should remain intact. Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow suggested a “shrinking-to-win” strategy, aiming for annual sales of $250 million to $350 million. However, Brown vehemently disagreed with this approach, emphasizing his commitment to the company’s original vision and goals.
In conclusion, Beyond Meat’s recent financial setbacks and revised sales outlook have raised concerns among investors and analysts. The company’s cash reserves are dwindling, and it is facing challenges in a market where consumer interest in plant-based meat is declining. While Beyond Meat’s CEO remains optimistic about the future, significant changes may be necessary to ensure the company’s long-term success.