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Beyond Meat Plunges With Sudden End to Stockpiling

Beyond Meat Inc. plunged after missing even Wall Street’s lowest expectations for revenue, as the restaurant slowdown eroded what had been an area of explosive growth for the company.

Global sales rose 2.7% in the third quarter to $94.4 million, the company said Monday in a statement. That compared to the $132.1 million average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company also reported a net loss of 28 cents a share, after excluding some items. Analysts had projected a profit of 5 cents.

“For the first time since the pandemic began, we experienced the full brunt and unpredictability of Covid-19 on our net revenues,” Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said.

Shares fell 27% as of 4:41 p.m. in late New York trading.

Beyond Meat has tried to pivot to in-store sales as the pandemic has battered the restaurant industry, which had accounted for about half of the company’s sales at the start of the year. But even at-home demand took a pause this quarter, as the panic buying and freezer stockpiling that drove demand earlier in the year generally has subsided, the company said.

The maker of plant-based meat continues to bet on restaurants as a source of growth, however. Earlier Monday, Beyond Meat said it collaborated in the creation of new patties for McDonald’s Corp.’s new McPlant line.

Longer term, Beyond remains bullish, and it’s still spending as a result.

“Rather than curtail activities in reaction to transitory macroeconomic conditions, we continue to invest in the pillars of our future growth, and in capabilities, infrastructure, and markets that support our global vision,” Brown said in the statement. He cited investments in factories in Europe and China, plus the next iteration of the Beyond Burger as examples.

“These initiatives brought expense during a period of disruption to our top-line, but we are confident in our belief that they will deliver strong long-term gains in enterprise value,” he said.

— With assistance by Rick Clough

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