Shares in Bill Gates' Fake Meat Company Tank as Consumers Reject Bioengineered 'Food'
'Beyond Meat' crashes as demand slows, signalling more pain ahead
Shares in the fake meat company co-owned by Bill Gates, Beyond Meat, have plummetted as growing numbers of consumers reject bioengineered "food."
Despite an ongoing push from the global elite - who unlikely consume the stuff themselves but insist that you eat nothing else -, demand for lab-grown "meat" has slowed far beyond shareholders' predictions.
On Wednesday, Beyond Meat Inc (BYND.O) forecast fourth-quarter revenue below estimates.
The move came as the once red-hot plant-based "meat" producer reported slowing demand in both grocery stores and restaurants.
The news ended up driving the company's shares down by a whopping 19 percent in extended trading.
The company, which generates the bulk of its revenue from retailers, had cut its third-quarter revenue forecast last month.
The company reported taking a hit from fewer people stockpiling plant-based burgers and sausages at home after they returned to dining out.
However, Beyond did not sell as many products at restaurants during the quarter either.
Sales of its faux meat fell at fast-food locations when the Delta COVID-19 variant hit and labor shortages caused restaurants to cut hours and trim menus, Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said in an earnings call.
Sales to U.S. retail stores fell 15.6% to $52.4 million in the third quarter, Beyond said, while those to U.S. restaurants fell 7.3% to $15.1 million.
In October, McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) said it will test a plant-based patty made by Beyond in its McPlant burger at eight U.S. locations.
Widespread supply chain problems and labor shortages at Beyond's own facilities and a transportation provider also hampered operations, as did water damage related to severe weather that destroyed "sizeable amounts" of packaging at a Pennsylvania storage center.
Brown said the company is focused on long-term growth, including through restaurant partnerships and continued international expansion.
"The only reason we gave more tepid guidance on fourth quarter is just because we didn't want to go through this again," Brown said.
"My view...is to get through the year with these unusual conditions and get back to a strong resumption of growth, which I feel very confident about for 2022," he said.
The company said it expects fourth-quarter net revenue of $85 million to $110 million, compared with analysts' estimates of $131.6 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
"This is going to be one of those quarters Beyond will want to erase from its memory," wrote CFRA analyst Arun Sundaram.
"Unfortunately, it seems like many of these issues will persist through at least 4Q."
Net revenue rose 12.7% to $106.4 million in the three months ended October 2 but missed estimates of $109.2 million.
Excluding certain items, the company reported a loss of 87 cents per share, compared with analysts' estimates of a loss of 39 cents per share.