Market News

Beyond Meat to Open New R&D Center in Shanghai

Plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) recently announced that the company will be opening a new R&D center in Shanghai, the lease for which has been finalized. The facility will be the company’s first R&D center outside the United States.

Following the news, shares of the company dropped 5.7% during yesterday’s trading session. However, it pared its losses by 1.1% to close at $66.01 in the extended trade.

Strategic Impact

With its new facility in China, Beyond Meat will be looking to establish a footprint in the region by developing products that cater specifically to the customers there.

Furthermore, the new R&D center will have the latest equipment and lab facilities, with the aim of manufacturing products in an efficient manner and bringing them to the market. A test kitchen will also be present in the facility to allow chefs and culinary experts to produce innovative products.

The facility is likely to open in the first half of 2022.

Management Commentary

Chief Innovation Officer of Beyond Meat, Dr. Dariush Ajami, said “This new resource will enable us to more precisely serve the palate of the Chinese consumer and contribute directly to the culture’s delicious cuisine, while joining our global effort to deliver plant-based meats that are indistinguishable from, healthier than, and over time, priced at parity with their animal protein equivalents.”

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Price Target

Recently, Piper Sandler analyst Michael Lavery upgraded the stock from a Sell to a Hold with a price target of $64, which implies downside potential of 2% from current levels.

According to the analyst, the roll out of the McPlant burger, which is supplied by Beyond Meat to McDonald’s, in all locations towards the end of first quarter 2022, is expected to be beneficial for the company.

Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Sell based on 1 Buy, 7 Holds and 6 Sells. The average Beyond Meat price target of $78.83 implies upside potential of 20.8% from current levels. Shares have declined by about 52.9% over the past year.

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