Beyond Meat (BYND -2.80%) wasn't on the menu for many investors Wednesday. After a prominent investment bank cut its price target on the stock and issued a gloomy forecast on its future the previous evening, the company's shares closed the day nearly 4% lower in value.
The cutter was Goldman Sachs, in the person of analyst Adam Samuelson. He gave a serious trim to his Beyond Meat price target, which is now at $47 per share from the previous $74. Not surprisingly, Samuelson is reiterating his sell recommendation on the shares.
"Put simply, without a concrete plan to materially reduce cost," Samuelson said, "we struggle to see a pathway for [Beyond Meat] to sustain the price reductions necessary to expand its consumer appeal and achieve its own profitability targets."
Samuelson's latest downbeat assessment comes just over a week in front of the company's Q4 and full-year 2021 earnings release (slated for publication on Thursday, Feb. 24). For the quarter, the average analyst estimate is for revenue just shy of $101.4 million and a $0.71 per-share net loss.
A very popular stock following its splashy IPO in mid-2019, Beyond Meat has since fallen out of favor with many investors. Despite numerous successes getting its products onto supermarket shelves and on the menus of famous restaurant chains, it consistently has posted bottom-line losses. Meanwhile, competition from both dedicated alt-protein product makers and incumbent food-industry giants continues to intensify.
A blowout Q4 would go a long way toward alleviating these concerns, but even with an impressive quarter, those challenges aren't melting away. So it's hard to argue against Samuelson's assessment and recommendation on the stock.