Update (12:40 pm ET): Beyond Meat briefly topped $62, a staggering 150% gain on the day of its market debut.
Shares have retreated slightly since then, but were still up 140% in recent trade.
As we wait for the inevitable period of retrenchment, here are a few reasons to be skeptical of IF's current valuations, courtesy of the Economist.
Yet Beyond Meat might stick in investors’ gullets, for several reasons. First, the company has yet to make a profit. Second, it is not the only company trying to cut into the meat business. Another Californian outfit, Impossible Foods, sells its plant-based products through Burger King, among others. Several start-ups are trying to grow meat in vats. They could all end up trying to eat each others’ lunches, or cutting into the sales of venerable outfits like Quorn. It was possible to order veggie burgers at Burger King before the Impossible Whopper came along.
Third, it is not obvious that more people are hungry for alternatives to meat. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American is eating more beef, pork and chicken than a couple of years ago. Britain’s Family Food survey shows a rise in meat consumption between 2015 and 2016-17 (the most recent period for which data exists). The parallel with non-dairy milk seems dubious. Many people sip soya milk not because they disapprove of dairy products or want to save the planet, but because they are lactose intolerant.
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With stocks headed for their worst daily drop in weeks, leaving all three major indexes on track to finish in the red, the latest widely-hyped unicorn IPO is keeping the trend alive by nearly doubling its IPO price just minutes after its trading debut.
The stock debuted at $25 on the Nasdaq, but was trading at $53 just minutes later.