Fake Meat Company's Shares Tumble to New Low Months After Factory Contamination Scandal

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(Reuters)—Shares of Beyond Meat tumbled 18 percent to new lows on Thursday after the plant-based substitute meat seller said it would sell up to $200 million worth of new shares as it faces a shrinking cash pile.

Last trading at $10.26, Beyond Meat's stock has slumped from highs of over $239 in the months following its July 2019 initial public offer, among Wall Street's hottest listings that year.

The stock's collapse comes just months after leaked internal documents revealed the company's Pennsylvania processing plant was contaminated with mold, deadly bacteria, and other toxic substances.

The El Segundo, California company late on Wednesday reported its fifth consecutive quarter of declining year-over-year revenue, and it said it expects improved sales growth in the second half of 2023.

Beyond Meat also said it has entered an equity distribution agreement with Goldman Sachs to sell up $200 million worth of its shares, or equivalent to about 30% of its market cap after Thursday's drop.

Goldman Sachs analyst Adam Samuelson has a "sell" rating on Beyond Meat's stock, according to Refinitiv.

Plant-based substitute meat burgers and sausages made by Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and other producers, often selling at prices comparable to real meat products, have failed to catch on with consumers as much as many investors had expected, with decades high inflation adding to pressure on demand.

Beyond Meat, which has lost money every year since its IPO, had cash and cash equivalents of $259 million in the quarter ending April 1, down from $310 million three months earlier and $1.125 billion in April 2021.


(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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