Beyond Meat rallies 13% after McDonalds and Yum Brands partnerships overshadow weak sales

McDonald's PLT Canada
McDonald’s previously paired with Beyond Meat to offer a plant-based burger in Canada.

  • Shares of Beyond Meat gained as much as 13% Friday after announcing partnerships with McDonald’s and Yum! Brands. 
  • The faux-meat producer also reported fourth-quarter sales that missed expectations.
  • Watch Beyond Meat trade live here.

Shares of Beyond Meat jumped as high as 13% to $162 a share Friday after news of partnerships with two of the largest fast-food chains overshadowed weak fourth-quarter sales. 

The stock fell sharply after the Thursday closing bell when the faux-meat maker announced sales in the fourth-quarter were $101.9 million, compared to the average estimate of $103.6 million. But news that Beyond Meat is partnering with both McDonald’s Corp. and Yum! Brands cause shares to retrace their losses.

Beyond Meat and McDonald’s will enter into a three year agreement that will place the  faux-meat maker as the preferred supplier for the patty in the McPlant burger. McDonald’s and Beyond Meat will also explore co-developing other plant-based menu items like plant-based chicken, pork, and egg substitutes, according to a news release.

This announcement solidifies the relationship between Beyond Meat and McDonald’s that began in 2019 with a Canadian test run of a plant-based burger. It also clarifies Beyond Meat’s role as the supplier for the McPlant patty, which confused investors in November when the McPlant was first announced

Beyond Meat also will co-create plant-based menu items for Yum! Brand’s subsidiaries KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco bell over the next several years. The partnership continues the relationship between Beyond Meat and the fast food giant.

In 2020 Pizza Hut launched two faux-meat pizzas, and in January Taco Bell announced it was working with Beyond Meat to create a plant-based protein.

Beyond Meat’s foodservice sales were down nearly 43% year on year as the COVID-19 pandemic decreased restaurant foot traffic. CEO Evan Brown said this impacted “near-term profitability.”

Shares pared back gains after the opening bell and were trading around $151 as of 9:40 a.m. EST.

Analysts from Bank of America said that Beyond Meat management indicated that the fast-food partnerships will not have a material impact on 2021 results given the timing of the announcement.

“Overall we see sales improving in 2021 as foodservice sequentially improves while retail faces tough comps. We expect margins will see pressure driven by increased investments and lower price points in retail,” BofA said. The firm has an “underperform” rating for the stock and price target of $81. 

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