Beyond Meat (BYND) shares surged again Monday, taking their post-IPO gain past 600%, as investors continue to take shares of this year's hottest listing higher following a stronger-than-expected sales outlook thanks to the surging popularity of meat-alternative foods.
Beyond Meat's plant-based foods, which included burgers and sausages, are expected to more than double its revenue over the next two years, the company said last week, with CEO Ethan Brown expecting break-even earnings on a top line of 'at least' $210 million in the current fiscal year.
Big U.S. restaurant chains such as Burger King and A&W have also reported a surge in demand for plant-based products, with the former seeing a surge in foot traffic in its St. Louis test market for the "Impossible Whopper," a sandwich it hopes to sell nationwide before the end of the year made by rival start-up Impossible Foods.
"As we move forward, our growth strategy focused on innovating, including improving existing products and launching new ones," Brown told investors on a conference call Friday. "Expanding brand awareness, growing our distribution channels and investing in infrastructure and capacity to be able to serve the army's global market demand."
"In a point that one can only find exciting as we look to the future, with all this activity we're still in the very early innings of growth," he added. "Based on recent Nielsen panel data, Beyond Meat has just 2% household penetration in the United States. Just as we this tremendous runway ahead we see uniquely compelling future internationally."
Beyond Meat shares were marked 24.6% higher in early Monday trading and changing hands at $172.78 each, a move that adds nearly $150 per share to the group's stock since it priced its $25 initial public offering on May 2.
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moscow said the Burger King numbers are "hugely important because it means that the brand is driving same-store foot traffic rather than just cannibalizing existing sales.
"McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) and (Yum! Brands Inc.'s (YUM - Get Report) ) Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants are likely to test plant-based meat products this year given their public comments," he added. "Management made it very clear that its current forecast conservatively excludes customers that are only in the test phase. As a result, we expect revenue guidance to keep revising higher this year as the big chains like Tim Horton's transition out of test and into full market distribution."
TheStreet's founder, Jim Cramer, said the stock's incredible gains are easier to understand in the context of its restaurant sales potential, which Credit Suisse suggests could be $750 million a year from McDonald's alone by 2030.
"The company has a number of irons in the fire including the possibility of some big wins among fast food, maybe Restaurant Brands (QSR - Get Report) Burger King, maybe even McDonald's which currently is trailing Nestle's (NSRGY) burger in 1400 of its German stores," Cramer said. "Beyond Meat's management, when asked about the competition, explained that they have all made a number of mistakes and miscues that has given Beyond Meat a real head start."