Beyond Meat surges after JP Morgan says sell-off has gone on long enough, upgrades stock to buy

Key Points
  • J.P. Morgan upgrades Beyond Meat to overweight from neutral and raises its target price to $189 a share from $188 a share.
  • "We think the stock is appealing once again," J.P. Morgan says.
Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, center, rings the opening bell during the company's IPO at the Nasdaq in New York on May 2, 2019.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

J.P. Morgan upgraded alternative meat company Beyond Meat on Tuesday, calling its shares "appealing once again."

The firm raised its rating to overweight from neutral and lifted its target price to $189 a share from $188 a share. J.P. Morgan cited several reasons for its upgrade, including the fact that the stock has dropped 40% since its high on July 26.

Shares of Beyond Meat jumped nearly 7% to $154.51 in early trading Tuesday.

"With cash-on-hand likely to exceed $300MM by the end of 3Q, another guidance raise potentially ahead, and the stock 40% off its high, we think the stock is appealing once again," J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients.

"We see three primary reasons for renewed optimism: The potential to acquire new food-service customers, continued strength in measured data, and valuation," J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman said.

After a booming post-IPO run that many called a bubble, the shares have plunged since late July amid a surprise secondary stock offering, a bigger than expected second-quarter loss and a broader market sell-off.

"We appreciate that the secondary offering spooked many investors; however, founder/CEO Ethan Brown trimmed only a tiny portion of his holdings, and we cannot blame anyone involved pre-IPO for locking in some gains," Goldman said.

The company went public in May at $25 a share. J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock on valuation on June 11 when the company was valued at $10 billion.