But this scorching hot rally in Beyond Meat has come under pressure recently.
Specifically, BYND stock has fallen more than 20% off its early June highs on three major, ostensibly negative developments:
- Animal-based meat production has normalized much more quickly than expected, providing more competition for plant-based meat products in grocery stores.
- Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) — who partnered with Beyond Meat on a plant-based breakfast sandwich in China and Canada — chose Beyond’s main competitor, Impossible Foods, to launch a plant-based breakfast sandwich in the U.S.
- McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) has ended its test trial of Beyond products in its stores, with no clarity as to what comes next.
The stock is taking an 8% dive today on a double downgrade from Barclays. Given that negative news flow, it’s no wonder that investors are doing some profit taking on BYND stock.
But this profit-taking will end soon, because the aforementioned headwinds are ephemeral and largely inconsequential, while the long-term growth narrative supporting more robust consumer adoption of plant-based meat and more robust placement of Beyond Meat products into the world’s meat supply chain remains as vigorous as ever.
As such, I’d look to buy the dip in BYND stock around the $110 level.
Here’s a deeper look at why.
Normalized Animal-Based Meat Production Is Meaningless
Barclays recently double-downgraded BYND stock from Overweight to Underweight on the idea that animal-based meat production has normalized more quickly than expected, and that this normalization will provide downward pressure on grocery store sales of Beyond Meat products, ending what has been a plant-based meat buying frenzy in grocery stores amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
That’s a rather silly thesis.
Beyond Meat products didn’t sell like crazy amid the Covid-19 pandemic because of animal-based food shortages. It’s not like consumers were like, “Oh, darn, they’re out of steak. Maybe I’ll buy some Beyond Burger patties instead.”
They sold like crazy because consumers increasingly wanted to eat healthier foods, with more sustainable and environmentally positive sourcing methods, and plant-based meat is broadly perceived by the consumer as healthier, more environmentally friendly and more socially responsible.
In other words, consumers were like, “Maybe animal-based meat is kind of dirty and not that great for you after all. Why not try these Beyond Burger patties instead?”
So, yes, animal-based meat production has normalized. But, no, this will not have a meaningfully negative impact on Beyond Meat’s grocery segment sales.
The Covid-19 impact has already been inflicted. Consumers are now more concerned about food safety and origin than ever before, and this will spark increased demand for plant-based meat products for the foreseeable future — regardless of how much animal-based meat is on grocery shelves.
Beyond Meat Doesn’t Need a Monopoly
Losing the Starbucks’ U.S. breakfast sandwich contract is not great news for Beyond Meat.
But it’s not the end of the world, either.
Beyond Meat doesn’t need a monopoly to be a hugely valuable company in the future. The reality is that the plant-based megatrend has a ton of momentum, and the plant-based meat market will be huge one day.
Because consumers are increasingly pivoting towards consuming products, services and foods with environmentally and socially positive impacts, plant-based meat has a clear runway to 10%+ penetration into the $1.4 trillion and growing global meats market. Thus, we are talking about a $140+ billion plant-based meat market in the future.
Beyond Meat, at an $8.5 billion market cap today, doesn’t need to control 100% of that market in order for BYND stock to work. It just needs to be an important player. So a lost contract here and there to Impossible Foods doesn’t kill the long-term growth narrative, so long as Beyond offsets that with a few contract wins of its own (which has happened, with KFC and Pizza Hut).
The McDonald’s Partnership Isn’t Over
Many bears have concluded that because McDonald’s ended its test trial of Beyond Burgers in Canada without expanding the test trial into a broader product launch, McDonald’s is essentially walking away from Beyond Meat.
That may be the case. But unlikely.
Instead, McDonald’s — as the largest fast food chain in the world — is being very smart and calculated about the introduction of plant-based meats onto its menu. As opposed to rushing into a contract, McDonald’s is running various tests to see what the best move forward is.
Make no mistake. McDonald’s will launch a plant-based burger. And soon. The company simply has to in order to keep up with changing demand trends.
Will that plant-based burger be a Beyond Burger? Maybe. Maybe not. That remains to be seen. But Beyond is still the most likely winner here given that the test trial the two companies ran had strong results.
Here’s When to Buy Beyond Meat Stock
All in all, the headwinds which have weighed on BYND stock over the past few weeks amount to bad optics, but little more.
Bad optics — against the backdrop of a market that’s struggling with a spike in coronavirus cases across the U.S. — will likely continue to weigh on Beyond Meat’s stock for the foreseeable future. This selloff is not over.
But, because the fundamentals remain strong, this selloff will find technical support. Soon. And at levels not much lower than where shares currently trade.
My best guess is that BYND stock stumbles towards $110, which is roughly where the stock’s 100-day, 200-day and year-to-date moving-averages all hang out today. At that point, I suspect the stock will find technical support, all this noise surrounding Starbucks and McDonald’s will be already priced in and the stock will be ready to bounce back.
Where will it bounce back to?
My base modeling on Beyond Meat assumes 10% plant-based meat market penetration by 2030, 5% market share for Beyond Meat across all food channels and 40% gross margins. On those assumptions, I see the company netting $16.50 in earnings per share by 2030. Based on a 20-times forward earnings multiple and a 10% annual discount rate, that implies a 2020 price target for BYND stock of $140.
Bottom Line on BYND Stock
Beyond Meat is a long-term winner that is pioneering a new era of sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially positive food consumption. It’s not too different to what Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is doing, in pioneering a new era of sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially-positive transportation.
To that end, I see Beyond Meat as turning into the “Tesla of food” one day.
Selling BYND stock today is like selling TSLA stock five years ago. It just isn’t a good move for anyone with a multi-year investment horizon.
Luke Lango is a Markets Analyst for InvestorPlace. He has been professionally analyzing stocks for several years, previously working at various hedge funds and currently running his own investment fund in San Diego. A Caltech graduate, Luke has consistently been recognized as one of the best stock pickers in the world by various other analysts and platforms, and has developed a reputation for leveraging his technology background to identify growth stocks that deliver outstanding returns. Luke is also the founder of Fantastic, a social discovery company backed by an LA-based internet venture firm. As of this writing, he was long BYND.