Beyond Meat narrows Q4 loss as plant-based meat sales jump

AP – Beyond Meat narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter as sales of its plant-based meat soared.

The El Segundo, California-based company, which went public last year, said it lost USD452,000 in the fourth quarter (Q4), down from a loss of USD7.5 million in the October-December period last year.

But its loss of one cent per share fell short of Wall Street’s forecast of a one-cent profit, according to analysts polled by FactSet. Investors were hoping Beyond Meat would pull off another quarterly profit after hitting that milestone in the third quarter.

Beyond Meat’s shares fell seven per cent to USD99 in after hours trading. They nearly reached USD240 last July after the company raised its 2019 revenue outlook.

Fourth quarter revenue more than tripled to USD98.5 million, beating analysts’ estimate of USD81 million. Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said the company’s plant-based burgers and sausages are now available at Costco in the United States (US) and Canada, among other retail outlets.

“Right now is a time for growth for Beyond Meat,” Brown said on a conference call with investors. “A growing number of consumers want what we are doing to work.”

Beyond Meat said it expects revenue to climb to USD490 million to USD510 million this year, an increase of 64 per cent to 71 per cent from 2019. It also said it expects to accelerate spending on marketing, research and development and expansion into international markets.

The company’s products have had some mixed news recently from retailers.

Starbucks recently announced that it would offer a Beyond Meat sandwich at almost all of its 1,500 Canadian stores starting in March. The patty is made from peas and brown rice and features a blend of fennel, rosemary and other spices.

KFC is also testing Beyond Meat’s plant-based fried chicken in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, next month.

But Tim Hortons pulled Beyond Meat sausages from its 4,000 Canadian stores. The company said the sausage, introduced last May, was a slow seller.

A package of meatless burgers are seen in Orlando, Florida. PHOTO: AP