Beyond Meat Bull Backpedals as Shares Rocket Above Price Target

(Bloomberg) -- Beyond Meat Inc. is about to lose one of two buy ratings it has won in its short existence after the veggie burger maker’s shares more than tripled since its trading debut this month.

Freedom Finance JSC analyst Erlan Abdikarimov said he intends to revise his recommendation on the stock to hold from buy in the coming days, due to the stock’s post-IPO run-up. The stock, which traded Thursday at around $67.75, has significantly exceeded the analyst’s $28 price target, the Almaty, Kazakhstan-based analyst said in an email.

“We are now seeing speculative, in many respects, demand fueled by the high expectations of the alternative meat market,” Abdikarimov said. “Now the market clearly underestimates the competition and the footsteps of Tyson Foods and other major players in this direction.”

Beyond Meat has come under pressure this week after a fund manager questioned its valuation and short interest jumped to 22% of free float, according to data compiled by financial analytics firm S3 Partners. The firm cautioned that the data points on the newly-minted stock remain incomplete and will be more reliable in the coming days.

Despite the recent sell-off, shares remain up 173% since their May 1 market debut. Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard, the only other analyst covering Beyond Meat who also rates it buy, has a price target of $81. She didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comments on the stock’s recent performance.

Other Wall Street analysts will be able to weigh in on the stock after research restrictions expire on May 28.

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