Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND), a company out to be the leading name in plant-based hamburger meat replacement recently gained 10% in trading on the strength of several factors. Better yet, the gains realized yesterday have continued into this morning's trading. The company recently received some new praise from analysts, focused on the current state of the company's operations. While the broader analyst picture isn't quite so sure as some individual analysts are, there are still positive points emerging around the company, which first made major inroads back during a time of meat shortages.
One Big Analyst Upgrade Gives Beyond Meat an Edge
For analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein, the increasing appetite for a Beyond Meat burger has translated into increasing appetite for Beyond Meat stock as well. Company analyst Alexia Howard upgraded BYND stock from “underperform” to “outperform,” though the analyst also left the current price target alone at $130 per share.
The biggest reasons behind the update, reports noted, were connected to positive Beyond Meat news. The company's sales numbers have improved as businesses began reopening in larger numbers and at larger capacity limits. The company's recently-released earnings report, however, delivered both losses on earnings and revenue against analyst projections.
Howard also noted that Beyond Meat's recently-opened manufacturing plant in the Netherlands would give the company some extra room to run. A partnership with McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is likely to help give those newly-minted burger replacements somewhere to be sold, and that should help drive some sales as well. Howard calls the McDonald's partnership a “meaningful growth driver” at last report.
Recent reports point out that Beyond Meat has done well to demonstrate that it's not simply a fad product—or perhaps worse, a fad diet product—but still has room to improve on its proposition as a regular, everyday option as a meat substitute. It's made gains in that sense—the addition of McDonald's to the lineup is a big gain—and with firms like Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) restaurants joining in, it may be on its way to being a regular dietary component for everyday consumers, ensuring the company has a regular revenue stream. Jim Cramer even recently pointed out that Beyond Meat has the potential to be another “meme stock” in the way that GameStop (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) was recently thanks to its “...20% short flow”.
How Do Financial Analysts Feel about BYND Stock?
Sentiment for Beyond Meat has been improving at the restaurant level, and at the financial analyst level—our latest research reveals—it's a fairly similar growth track. The Beyond Meat stock forecast has had a consensus rating of “hold” since December 2019, when it changed over from a “sell” rating.
A year ago, the company had three “buy” ratings, seven “hold” and nine “sell” ratings to its credit. Six months ago, that improved to five “buy” ratings, eight “hold” and seven “sell”. Today we stand at five “buy”, eight “hold” and six “sell.”
The Beyond Meat stock price target occupies a fairly narrow range. The current average price target is $124.89, with a low of $77 and a high of $190. Given that Beyond Meat stock currently trades at $119.28, there is still upside potential connected with this stock.
The upgrade at Sanford C. Bernstein actually represents a departure from recent news, which has predominantly featured lowered price targets. Just over a week ago, four different analysts—DA Davidson, Canaccord Genuity, Citigroup and Barclays—all lowered price targets on Beyond Meat. Some lowered much more so than others; while Barclays performed a small adjustment, going from $100 a share to $90, DA Davidson dropped substantially, going from $145 a share to $95.
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