Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) recently signed new partnership agreements with McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP), and Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) and Citigroup analyst Wendy Nicholson says she's filled with "new-found enthusiasm for the longer-term story" of the plant-based meat alternative company.
Last year might not have ended well for Beyond Meat, but those issues were short-term in nature because of the COVID-19 pandemic undermining the foodservice category and raising costs. Going forward, the situation looks much brighter.
In January, Beyond Meat announced it was collaborating with Pepsi on new product introductions, and while the snack products were expected, more interesting was the news beverages were also being considered.
Until now, the meat alternative leader has focused only on food products, but Pepsi says the joint venture will leverage its own marketing prowess with Beyond Meat's plant-based proteins in a new entity called The PLANeT Partnership to create snack and drink options at scale.
It followed up that deal with two more: a three-year partnership with McDonald's to develop the McPlant burger and a global brand deal with Yum! Brands to develop "craveable" products for its KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell chains.
Nicholson says the bad news associated with Beyond Meat's unimpressive fourth quarter earnings are well known and already priced into the stock, but these brand deals ought to drive greater sales. She raised her rating on the stock to buy from neutral with an $184 per share price target.
Beyond Meat stock trades at around $147 a share, indicating 25% more upside in the shares.