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Why Beyond Meat Stock Just Popped 7%

By Rich Smith – Updated May 16, 2019 at 2:57PM

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Is this rally as fake as the meat in this burger? And does that even matter?

What happened

Shares of plant-based foods company Beyond Meat (BYND 1.32%) continued to sprout green shoots and reach for the skies Thursday, climbing a further 6.8% in trading circa 2:40 p.m. EDT. The question today -- as on so many other days -- is: Why?

So what

Bloomberg reports that bearish bets against the stock -- short interest -- now equal 43% of shares outstanding. However, that number won't become critically important until Beyond Meat announces some really good news (Beyond Meat hasn't shared any news so far today), creating a short squeeze that drives the stock price to even more ridiculous levels.

(Hint: At a valuation of 61 times sales and infinity times earnings Beyond Meat doesn't yet have, I'd argue the stock price is already pretty ridiculous).

Rather than news from Beyond Meat, today's rally appears to be tied to news about trading related to Beyond Meat. To wit, reports that purchases of call options on the stock today are outnumbering purchases of put options by 2 to 1. Indicative of strong positive sentiment among options traders, this seems to be bleeding over into positive sentiment among traders of actual Beyond Meat stock as well.

A hamburger with trimmings on a bun.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Ultimately, the laws of gravity must reassert themselves, and Beyond Meat stock will fall back to a valuation more closely tied to reality. In the meantime, however, with no earnings against which to measure the stock and conclude that it is "overpriced," there's apparently no clear reason for investors to decide the stock is too expensive and sell.

Until that happens, the risk of a short squeeze driving Beyond Meat shares even higher remains a very real possibility. Caveat emptor...and caveat short-seller, too.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Beyond Meat, Inc. Stock Quote
Beyond Meat, Inc.
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