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VOL. 45 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 6, 2021

Beyond Meat sees Q2 sales jump on restaurant demand

The Associated Press

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Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat said Thursday that its revenue jumped 32% in the second quarter as demand from restaurants returned.

But the company's shares dropped after it forecast lower-than-expected third-quarter sales. Beyond Meat said uncertainty about the coronavirus is among the things weighing on its projections.

"I think the main characteristic of the third quarter, and our guidance is, simply lack of visibility," Beyond Meat President and CEO Ethan Brown said on a conference call with investors.

Beyond Meat's U.S. food-service sales more than tripled in the April-June period as more dining rooms reopened and people ate out.

But the company's U.S. retail demand fell 14%, reflecting a drop from 2020's pandemic stockpiling.

International revenue more than doubled to $48 million on stronger retail and food-service sales.

Brown said the company expects food-service demand will continue to grow through the rest of this year, but at a more moderate pace as restaurants slow their restocking post-pandemic.

The company will also see lower sales from one big partner, Dunkin', which recently discontinued a Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich at most of its U.S. stores. But Brown stressed that other chains continue to introduce Beyond products. Panda Express recently began serving its plant-based chicken, for example, and Pizza Hut in the United Kingdom is using its meat crumbles.

Brown said some other big product launches at U.S. fast food restaurants have been delayed until 2022 because of labor shortages.

El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat reported $149.4 million in revenue for the second quarter, beating Wall Street's forecast of $141 million, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

The company reported a net loss of $19.7 million, or 31 cents per share. That was a bigger loss than the 23 cents analysts had forecast. Beyond Meat said it increased hiring significantly to grow its operations overseas and spent more on marketing and product trials.

For the third quarter, Beyond Meat said it expects net revenue in the range of $120 million to $140 million. That is below the $153 million Wall Street had forecast.

Beyond Meat's shares dropped 5.6% to $115 in after-hours trading.

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