Wall Street had another nervous day on Tuesday, with the latest readings on inflation at the manufacturing level hitting multidecade highs that will put even more pressure on the Federal Reserve to take action to curb higher prices. That news sent much of the stock market lower, and had an outsize impact on the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC). The Nasdaq was down 263 points, or 1.7%, shortly after 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
Yet a few well-known stocks bucked the downtrend. Meat-alternative specialist Beyond Meat (BYND -4.70%) clawed back somewhat from its recent declines, while law enforcement camera and stun gun maker Axon Enterprise (AXON 0.51%) also gained ground. Below, we'll take a closer look at both companies to see what's sending them higher on a down day for the broader market.
Shareholders hope that Beyond Meat vaults the Golden Arches
Shares of Beyond Meat were up almost 8% on Tuesday morning. The plant-based protein provider has seen its stock fall sharply lately, but investors have new hopes that a collaboration with a fast-food giant could help stoke enthusiasm in the company's products once again.
Beyond Meat also earned some favorable comments from Wall Street analysts. Late Monday, analysts at Piper Sandler upgraded the alternative meat stock from underweight to neutral and lifted their price target on it by $3 per share to $64 per share. Piper pointed to the potential full-scale domestic launch of the McPlant burger at McDonald's (MCD 0.18%) sometime before the end of the first quarter of 2022, which is earlier than had previously been expected. Channel checks suggest that current tests are going well and that the McPlant could soon be available as McDonald's locations across the U.S.
Yet investors haven't felt certain lately about Beyond Meat's longer-term prospects. Despite third-quarter financial results that showed substantial gains in revenue, the company's losses widened dramatically from year-earlier levels. Moreover, sales growth hasn't been as rapid as most investors had expected it to be.
Tuesday's rise took the stock off its two-year lows. But if Beyond Meat is going to manage a full comeback, it will have to get its products much more widely adopted by restaurant chains and grocery shoppers.
Axon hits the target
Also rising Tuesday morning was Axon Enterprise -- the stock was up by more than 4%. The maker of Taser stun guns and law enforcement body cameras also got favorable comments from a stock analyst.
JMP Securities restarted its coverage of Axon Enterprise with a rating of outperform and set a $195 per share price target on the stock. This came almost a year after JMP downgraded the stock to market perform, citing a fair valuation at the time.
Axon has huge potential. While it has already made huge gains in the U.S., it hasn't focused much on international markets. Now though, the company is starting to turn its attention to those overseas opportunities. Wins in those markets could bolster the company's results and spur a new acceleration in revenue growth.
Of course, Axon does face risks, and the volatility of its share price over the past year reflects the ongoing battle between risk and reward. With the stock down sharply over the past month, though, many investors may see Axon as having more upside than downside currently.