Shares of the faux-meat maker jumped nearly 2% Thursday, as investors shrugged off news that Tyson is launching its own line of plant-based protein products. Its chicken-free nuggets and burger patties made with a combination of beef and plants will hit store shelves later this year.
Since going public in early May, Beyond’s stock has soared nearly 470%, giving the profitless company a market value of about $8.5 billion.
“[Plant-based protein] is the future of food,” says Keith Fitz-Gerald, chief investment strategist at Money Map Press.
“Beyond Meat is a very important stock in the history of where we’re going to go as the next billion people come on to the planet,” Fitz-Gerald said on Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.”
Still, Fitz-Gerald wouldn’t invest in Beyond Meat right now. He suggests waiting “at least a few quarters” for the company to prove its worthiness to investors.
‘Greed is alive and well’
“The Beyond Meat IPO tells me that greed is alive and well,” Fitz-Gerald said.“I don’t place a lot of faith in companies that aren’t making money.”
He said there’s currently more downside risk than upside potential for the stock. “Beyond Meat is up 400% to 500%, which is way beyond where it should have been in the first place if you apply conventional thinking to it,” he said. “But this isn’t a conventional market. So a 25%, 30%, 40%, 50% [selloff] is all possible.”
Not one Wall Street analyst rates Beyond Meat a “buy,” which is unusual for a freshly-minted stock market newbie. JPMorgan Chase and Bernstein each downgraded the stock this week on concerns about its high valuation.
The plant-based protein market is expected to balloon to $12 billion by 2028, according to NYU Stern School of Business Professor Aswath Damodaran.
He said Beyond Meat can capture up to 20% of that market, despite competition from bigger companies including Tyson and Nestle (NESN-SW), which will launch its own plant-based burger this fall.
Alexis Christoforous is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.” Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.