Beyond Meat narrows 4Q loss as plant-based meat sales jump

Business

FILE – In this June 26, 2019, file photo, a package of meatless burgers are seen in Orlando, Fla. Beyond Meat reports earnings Thursday, Feb. 27. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

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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 $452,000 in the fourth quarter, down from a loss of $7.5 million in the October-December period last year.

But its loss of 1 cent per share fell short of Wall Street’s forecast of a 1-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 7% to $99.00 in after hours trading. They nearly reached $240 last July after the company raised its 2019 revenue outlook.

Fourth quarter revenue more than tripled to $98.5 million, beating analysts’ estimate of $81 million. Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said the company’s plant-based burgers and sausages are now available at Costco in the U.S. 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 $490 million to $510 million this year, an increase of 64% to 71% 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.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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