Beyond Meat shares tumble despite group’s first profit

Shares tumble 22pc as early investors cash in

Vegan burger company Beyond Meat (BYND) has seen its share price fall by 22 per cent on the same day it reported its first ever quarterly profit.

Beyond Meat listed on the Nasdaq in May this year in what was considered to be one of the most successful IPOs of the past two decades. It saw its shares surge 163pc on the first day of trading, giving the company a $12bn (10.1bn, €10.8bn) valuation.

On Tuesday, the company reported Q3 profits of $4.1m compared with a $9.3m loss in the same quarter last year. At the same time, around 80 per cent of Beyond Meat’s shares became eligible for trading, providing early VC investors such as Obvious Ventures and Kleiner Perkins the opportunity to reduce their positions and return money to investors.

It was this fear of large sales by early investors that triggered the share price plunge.

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However, many have also doubted the long-term viability of Beyond Meat as a business. As well as a raft of short sellers some early investors turned on the business before Tuesday’s drop. Mark Yusko, CEO of Morgan Creek Capital Management, told an investment conference earlier this month: “It’s going to go down 90 per cent and still be overvalued.”

Beyond Meat is facing increasing competition from rivals such as Impossible Foods. Both companies are also coming under increased scrutiny as to whether they are actually healthy to consume.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, which was Beyond’s first major supplier, has criticised Beyond and its rival for being “super, highly processed foods.” Ingredients in the company’s Beyond Burger include pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, rice protein and refined coconut oil.

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