Beyond Meat Inc. stock fell 4% in extended trading Thursday after the plant-based meat maker posted a wider-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss and issued a third-quarter warning.
Revenue improved 32% to $149.4 million from $113.3 million a year ago.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a net loss of 23 cents a share on revenue of $141 million.
“We are pleased to report record net revenues and the return to growth in food service as our customers welcomed consumers back to their venues. We are also proud of our retail performance, where we drove year-over-year growth despite cycling last year’s demand surge driven by consumer panic-buying,” Beyond Meat Chief Executive Ethan Brown said in a statement announcing the results.
But Beyond warned of “near-term uncertainty related to COVID-19 and its potential impact on retail and foodservice demand levels” that could result in $120 million to $140 million in third-quarter revenue — significantly short of the $152.9 million forecast by FactSet.
An increase in infection rates because of the COVID-19 Delta variant could mark a return to more cautionary approaches in the food sector business, Beyond Chief Financial Officer Phil Hardin told analysts during a conference call late Thursday. “There continues to be uncertainty” over consumers keeping a distance from eateries as well as a reduction in inventory orders, he said.
The second-quarter results capped an eventful week for the largest producer of plant-based meat. On Tuesday, Hopdoddy Burger Bar said it will serve Beyond’s products at the burger chain’s 32 locations in Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado and Tennessee. Earlier, Brown told the BBC he supported a tax on meat. “The whole notion of a Pigouvian tax, which is to tax negative, you know, things that are high in externalities, I think is an interesting one,” he said. “I’m not an economist, but overall that type of thing does appeal to me.”
Americans, too, are finding plant-based meat more appealing. Retail sales of plant-based food surged 43% in the past two years, outpacing total food sales growth by nine times, according to Impossible Food Inc.’s 2021 State of Meat in Foodservice industry report this week. Plant-based meat sales increased 45% last year.
Beyond’s stock is down 2% so far in 2021. The broader S&P 500 index
has gained 18% this year.