BeyondBusinessplunges

Beyond Meat Plunges After Cutting Revenue View on Demand Drop

(Bloomberg) — Beyond Meat Inc. fell the most in almost a year after the maker of plant-based meats reduced its revenue guidance for the third quarter, citing a decline in retail orders, operational challenges and ongoing impacts from Covid-19.

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The company expects revenue of about $106 million in the period, down from its previous forecast of $120 million to $140 million, it said Friday. Analysts were looking for $134.3 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Beyond Meat cited reduced demand due to the Covid-19 delta variant, as well as “a decrease in retail orders that persisted longer than expected from a Canadian distributor coinciding with the reopening of restaurants.” The El Segundo, California-based company also pointed to delays in expanding its distribution, which it attributed to labor shortages at its customers.

The diminished forecast marks the latest setback for Beyond as plant-based meat grapples with lukewarm interest from diners and uneven foodservice demand. Retail had been a saving grace during the pandemic for the maker of pea-based burgers and sausages, as at-home eating drove an increase in supermarket sales while some restaurants closed.

Read more: Faux-meat fast food hasn’t sparked a plant-based boom

The stock fell as much as 16% Friday in New York, the biggest intraday slide since Nov. 10. Beyond shares were down 13% this year through Thursday, compared with a 21% rise for the S&P 500 index.

While Beyond Meat was an early mover in the category, competition has increased dramatically in the past several years, from larger companies like Conagra Brands Inc., as well as in-store supermarket brands like Kroger Co.’s Simple Truth.

Beyond Meat has had mixed success in Canada: While its burgers were so popular at A&W restaurants that the chain at one point ran out, Tim Hortons dropped the vegan products after less than a year.

In corporate filings, Beyond has warned of the potential impact a single customer can have. “The loss of any large customer, the reduction of purchasing levels or the cancellation of any business from a large customer for an extended length of time could negatively impact our sales and profitability,” it said earlier this year.

(Updates with additional details beginning in fourth paragraph)

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