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May 6, 2021, 8:11 p.m. EDT

Beyond Meat stock dives 7% after company swings to first-quarter loss

By Claudia Assis

Beyond Meat Inc. stock fell 7% late Thursday after the plant-based protein maker reported a much larger-than-expected quarterly loss and sales that also missed the mark, saying that the pandemic continues to hamper its foodservice business.

Beyond Meat (NAS:BYND) said it lost $27.3 million, or 43 cents a share, in the first quarter, versus earnings of $1.8 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusted net loss was $26.2 million, or 42 cents a share.

Sales rose 11% to $108.2 million, as rising retail sales were offset in part by a decline in the foodservice business “due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on foodservice demand,” Beyond Meat said in a statement.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Beyond Meat to report an adjusted loss of 19 cents a share on sales of $112.6 million.

U.S. retail sales rose 28% year-on-year while U.S. foodservice sales fell 26%.

See also: Impossible Foods prepping for $10 billion IPO

Beyond Meat said that due to the pandemic it continues to experience “significantly reduced demand” in its foodservice business, thanks to less foot traffic, streamlined menus, and restrictions on foodservice locations’ operating capacity that have resulted “in closures or meaningfully curtailed operations of many of the company’s foodservice customers.”

At the same time, the surge in demand from its retail customers in the early stages of the pandemic as consumers ate more home has moderated, it said.

Given the difficulty of gauging demand, Beyond Meat shied away from a full-year 2021 guidance, giving only second-quarter sales guidance. That is likely to come between $135 million and $150 million, or an increase between 19% and 32% compared with the second quarter of 2020.

Shares of Beyond Meat have lost about 6% in the past 12 months, contrasting with an advance of around 47% for the S&P 500 index. (S&P:SPX)

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.