BYND Stock Surges on Chinese Starbucks Launch

Beyond Meat launched a line of sandwiches in Canadian Starbucks stores several months ago

Deputy Editor
Apr 21, 2020 at 12:16 PM
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Starbucks (SBUX) announced yesterday that it would roll out its new plant-based lunch menu in China this week, with stores reopening amid an apparent slowdown of the coronavirus in the region. Many of the menu items will feature products made by Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ:BYND), marking a massive step for the company as it looks to expand into Asian markets where alternative meat products have not yet caught on. This comes several months after the firm announced its partnership providing products to Starbucks in Canada. BYND is up 7.5% at $84.42 in response. 

Today's surge has BYND set for its second straight close atop its 40-day moving average since its late-Feburary bear gap below the trendline. The stock is also looking to knock out recent pressure at the $80 level, and notch its fourth-consecutive win. For the year, BYND is now up 12%. 

BYND Apr 21

Today's options pits have been busy. So far, 64,000 calls and 14,000 puts have exchanged hands -- five times the intraday average. Most popular is the weekly 4/24 100-strike call, followed by the 90-strike call in the same series, with positions being opened at both. 

Traders' tendency towards calls is the norm for BYND. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 2.42 calls have been picked up for every put during the past 10 days. This ratio sits higher than 91% of all other readings from the past 12 months, suggesting a heavier appetite than usual for these bullish bets of late. 

Most members of the brokerage bunch are still on the fence about BYND, though. Nine of the 14 analyst covering the stock call it a "hold," while two say "sell" or worse. 

Short interest is also on the rise, up 9.2% in the last two reporting periods. The 8.52 million shares sold short represent a whopping 27.7% of the equity's available float, suggesting these bears are firmly in control. 

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