Beyond Meat (US:BYND) shares took a wild ride on Thursday after the company reported worse than expected earnings. Still, the shares jumped more than 20% after the company announced further cost cutting plans after recently laying off 19% of its staff.
The company lost $1.60 a share in the third quarter versus a consensus analyst loss estimate of $1.18 a share. Revenue fell 22.5% year over year to $82.5 million but nominally topped the $82.2 million estimate.
Gross margin fell to negative 18% from 21.6% in the year-earlier period, as inflation posed challenges.
The company also said Wednesday it is cutting operating expenses, narrowing its partnerships with retailers and restaurants and updating core products to boost its business,
“Shoppers are seeking to dial out inflation by, among other measures, switching out higher-cost proteins for lower-cost proteins,” Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said in an earnings conference call on Wednesday.
He added that “consumers are trading down throughout, from higher-cost beef and pork items to lower-cost chicken. In this environment, the category in Beyond Meat should be expected to see declines as consumers flock to cheaper proteins.”
Beyond Meat reiterated its 2022 financial forecasts it offered last month for $400 million and $425 million net revenue, which is nine to 14% below comparable 2021 results. It also expects gross margin to remain negative for the year, citing a one-time $4 million cash charge for laying off 19% of its employees.
Mizuho analyst John Baumgartner cut his target to $11 from $27 on Thursday and reiterated a Neutral rating.
“We advise remaining on the sidelines,” Baumgartner wrote in a research note. “Although we believe plant-based meat category demand is closer to bottoming, weakness is likely to persist through spring amid weakening consumer macros,” he added.
However, J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman continues to see long-term problems with the company’s fundamentals and execution. He reiterated an Underweight rating on Thursday.
After the conference call, Goldman said, “Does the company fully understand the gravity of the situation, as we and many others see it?” Goldman wrote on Thursday. “We pointed out in previous notes that sometimes there may be a disconnect between BYND’s positive (or even mixed) tone and the challenging reality of its situation.”
This article originally appeared on Fintel
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