Beyond Meat Inc on Thursday forecast annual revenue slightly above estimates and doubled down on cost controls at a time when persistently high inflation was slowing demand for its faux meat products, sending its shares up over 13% after the bell.
The company struck a more sobering note on a post-earnings call, saying steep inflation, a slowing economy, increased competition and consumers trading down to cheaper products were hurting growth.
The plant-based meat maker forecast full-year revenue to be in the range of $375 million to $415 million, the midpoint of which is just above analysts' average estimate of $394.2 million, according to Refinitiv data.
"While the outlook for 2023 is encouraging, it is worth noting the company has had to lower its guidance several times over the past few years," said Arun Sundaram, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research.
"Nonetheless, investors may be optimistic that 2022 marked the low point for the company," he added.
The company expects operating expenses to slide 22% this year, compared with a 9% rise in 2022.
"Total operating expense is expected to be approximately $250 million for the full year 2023, weighted slightly more heavily towards the front half of the year as we expect to invest disproportionately more behind marketing activities," said finance chief Lubi Kutua on a post-earnings call.
Beyond Meat beat quarterly expectations for the first time since June 2021.
The company's net revenue fell 21% to $79.9 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier, but still beat analysts expectations of $75.7 million.
Net loss for Beyond Meat narrowed to $66.9 million, or $1.05 per share, in the fourth quarter. Analysts had estimated a loss of $1.18 per share.
In October, Beyond Meat had said it was targeting cash flow positive operations within the second half of 2023.