Updated at 12:55 pm EST
Beyond Meat (BYND) - Get Beyond Meat, Inc. Report shares lurched higher Thursday after McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report said it would expand the test market for its plant-based burger starting next month.
McDonald's said it would start offering the McPlant, a plant-based burger created in partnership with Beyond Meat, at around 600 test locations in U.S.-based restaurants, mostly in and around San Francisco and Dallas, beginning on February 14.
McDonald's began testing the McPlant in November, and analysts have said a broader expansion across its network of 13,500 domestic sites could boost Beyond Meat sales, particularly if it is accompanied by a marketing and advertising push from the world's biggest restaurant chain.
The McDonald's deal followed Beyond Meat's recent marketing pacts with PepsiCo (PEP) - Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report and YUM! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report -- including a January 10 debut of 'Beyond Meat Fried Chicken' -- which the group hopes will accelerate revenues following a disappointing third quarter, as well as its ongoing distribution partnership with Walmart (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report, the world's biggest retailer.
Beyond Meat shares were marked 2.2% higher in early afternoon trading trading Thursday to change hands at $64.54 each. McDonald's, meanwhile, gained 0.9% to trade at $257.60 each.
Beyond Meat said in mid-November that current quarter sales would likely come in between $85 million and $110 million, well shy of the Refinitiv consensus of $132 million, as restaurants and grocery stores pare back orders amid softer consumer demand.
Labor, transportation and logistics issues linked to COVID-19, as well as a severe storm in Pennsylvania, clipped third quarter profits, too, with Beyond Meat reporting a wider-than-expected loss of 87 cents per share on sales of $106.4 million.
Short interest in the stock remains elevated, as well, with recent data from S3 Partners showing bets against the group totaling $1.34 billion, or 38.9% of the stock's outstanding float.