Bernstein downgrades Beyond Meat to Underperform on ‘stretched’ valuation

Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard downgraded Beyond Meat (BYND) to Underperform from Market Perform with a $136 price target. The stock in premarket trading is down 5%, or $9.27, to $183.03. The shares have rallied on recent headlines such as the rollout of Beyond Meatballs and Sausage Links, distribution gains at Walmart (WMT), as well as reports about a potential partnership between Beyond Meat and McDonald’s (MCD) in the U.K., Howard tells investors in a research note. While these new developments are “incrementally positive” and Beyond’s longer-term outlook “remains solid,” the stock’s valuation is “stretched” at 20 times enterprise value to next 12 months sales, says the analyst. Howard believes a fair multiple is in the 8 to 10 times range. In addition, Beyond Meat’s sales growth in the retail channel has slowed while its foodservice sales remain under pressure, says the analyst.