Beyond Meat Stock Had a Wild Week. Is It the Next Meme Trade?

 Beyond Meat Stock Had a Wild Week. Is It the Next Meme Trade?

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Beyond Meat’s “Beyond Burger” patties made from plant-based substitutes for meat.


Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

It’s been a wild week for

Beyond Meat

stock, which some hope will be the next so-called meme stock to take off. It’s not alone among the group seeing big gains—but some of its recent moves could be explained by more fundamental factors.


Beyond Meat

(ticker: BYND) was up 1.9% to $145.25 in recent trading, although at its intraday highs, shares gained nearly 35% in the past five days. The stock is up nearly 15% year to date.

The move comes after
Jim Cramer
touted the stock on his CNBC program Mad Money earlier this week, arguing that the stock’s prospects look poised to improve dramatically when Americans more fully return to restaurants. He also thinks the Reddit crowd should take a look at the shares, as they scout for targets beyond staples

GameStop

(GME) and

AMC Entertainment Holdings

(AMC).

Beyond Meat was one of the stocks caught up in the short-selling squeeze in late January. More than a quarter of its float—or the number of shares available to the public—remains shorted, a figure that has been on the rise.

Some on Reddit have taken his advice, while others criticized his remarks as a ploy to get individual investors to move money out of

GameStop

and AMC.

Those two companies have certainly had a great—if volatile—week as well, with AMC more than doubling. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), BlackBerry (BB), and other highly shorted companies that have attracted individual investors have notched double-digit gains in the past five days.

Nor is it just stocks seeing major action: Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster this week, another sign that the so-called meme trade is hot once more. Or perhaps it’s that with the rest of the market relatively quiet ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, these stocks are taking center stage again.

That said, there was some news that moved Beyond Meat stock this week. On Monday, Bernstein flipped from bearish to bullish on Beyond Meat. Wednesday, the company announced an expansion of its partnership with KFC China, with a limited run of a plant-based spicy beef wrap.

On Friday, Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow reiterated a Neutral rating on the shares, writing that he’s increasingly hearing from investors interested in the stock’s recent move. He said that while he admires “the company’s competitive advantages in the fast-growing meat alternatives category,” he’s still on the sidelines, given that so much of what could make or break the stock hinges on actions taken by its fast food partners.  

Write to Teresa Rivas at teresa.rivas@barrons.com

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