Short-sellers are aiming to feast on plant-based protein firm Beyond Meat.
Beyond Meat currently ranks as one of the most-shorted stocks on the market, according to data from analytics firm S3 Partners. Short positions account for 37 percent of the company’s freely traded shares, the highest ratio among stocks included in the Russell 1000 Index.
The ratio has increased from 26 percent in October, Bloomberg reported. Investors have increased bet against Beyond Meat over concerns about a downtick in sales and sagging momentum for plant-based meat producers.
Beyond Meat did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the trend.
Shares of Beyond Meat have fallen more than 30 percent since October, when the company slashed its third-quarter revenue outlook. At the time, the company cited the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, delayed shipments and an ongoing labor shortage.
Over the last 12 months, shares of Beyond Meat have fallen more than 40 percent.
In November, Beyond Meat’s stock plummeted after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss $54.8 million, and sales that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations.
The slowdown in sales growth is a key reason for the increase in bets against Beyond Meat, according to noted short-seller Jim Chanos.
Chanos told the Financial Times that investors have expected improving numbers from plant-based meat firms as they’ve gained acceptable with consumers.
“The problem in Beyond Meat’s case is that it’s stopped being the case,” Chanos said. “It’s a juxtaposition of the reality versus the hope.”
Beyond Meat has continued rolling out new partnerships in recent months. This week, KFC added plant-based “Beyond Fried Chicken” to its menu on a limited basis.