Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND -7.01%) closed Monday's trading session up about 4% after an analyst at Jefferies reiterated his hold recommendation on the plant-based meat alternative maker, but sounded a bullish note on future partner deals.
Getting Beyond Meat's products into the hands of more customers will help the company's growth prospects at a time when the market is becoming crowded with faux meat competitors. Its recent deal with Yum! Brands to bring its plant-based alternatives to the menus of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, as well as agreements with McDonald's and PepsiCo, should give it a leg up.
Similarly, getting its products into more supermarket freezer cases could help normalize the idea of meat alternatives with hesitant consumers, so Walmart's decision to expand Beyond Meat's availability in its stores should help too.
Jefferies analyst Rob Dickerson told investors in a research note he feels better about Beyond Meat's capital structure and ability to maintain its first-mover advantage after attending the company's analyst day conference.
He noted that later this year or early next year, Beyond Meat intends to open a new research center near Los Angeles International Airport where a number of its new partners will have in-house staff working on developing new products in cooperation with it.
Dickerson was also hopeful for the McDonald's partnership for branding purposes, even though a Beyond Meat branded product likely won't be on the fast-food giant's menu.
These events were already known to the market, however, and Dickerson maintained his $140 per share price target.