- Beyond Meat debuted Thursday afternoon on the Nasdaq under the ticker BYND.
- Shares soared to soared by 163% at one point on Thursday.
- It’s the first public debut in a deluge of initial public offerings expected this month.
Beyond Meat, the decade-old plant-based meat-substitute company, soared by 163% on Thursday as it became the latest unprofitable, disruptive company to make its stock-market debut.
Shares, which trade under the ticker BYND, opened at $46 apiece after pricing at $25. That was up from a prior range of $19 to $21. The stock first traded up 84% before climbing to a high of $72.75. Shares closed the day at $65.75.
Beyond Meat issued 9.63 million shares, up from its initial target of 8.75 million shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That offering raised nearly $241 million.
“We hope investors join us as we seek to become the first generation of humans to separate meat from animals, unlocking the next era in the American story of innovation, disruption, and growth,” Beyond Meat’s CEO and founder, Ethan Brown, said in the company’s S-1 filing last month.
The high end of the company’s indicated price range placed its market value at $1.49 billion, up from a prior $1.21 billion valuation.
Beyond Meat faces fierce competition in the alternative-protein space, listing competitors as both makers of plant-based meat substitutes — like Impossible Foods, Gardein, and Field Roast — and traditional animal-product companies like Cargill and Hormel.
The US meat-processing giant Tyson Foods said last week that it sold its 6.5% Beyond Meat stake as it looked to develop its own line of meat alternatives.
Beyond Meat is also debuting as an unprofitable company, which is not all that uncommon for young firms aiming to ramp up growth. It has generated losses in each year since its 2009 founding, and its losses only slightly narrowed from 2017 to 2018.
The company lost $29.9 million in 2018, $30.4 million in 2017, and $25.1 million in 2016 as it “invested in innovation and growth.” Its sales have grown mightily over the same time, with net revenue of $16.2 million, $32.6 million, and $87.9 million in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The debut comes amid a robust slate of initial public offerings this year.
In last month’s filing, Brown tried to make it clear that he was not calling for people to “consume less meat.”
“My own children enjoy more, rather than less, of their favorite meat occasions (sausage breakfasts, burger dinners) as I am comfortably aware that Beyond Meat products are free of cholesterol and other aspects of animal protein that preoccupy public health debate,” he said. “As we rush to keep up with consumer demand for our products, my guess is that many families are having the same experience.”
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Credit Suisse were Beyond Meat’s lead underwriters. Jefferies was a joint bookrunner on the deal.
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