Beyond Meat’s ‘peak insanity’ market cap is already 5 times Shake Shack’s

It’s salad days for Beyond Meat investors.

After going public on May 2, shares of the plant-based meat company have exploded for a 572% gain, as of Monday’s close. Tuesday’s session brought out the sellers in a big way, but still, Beyond MeatBYND, -21.06% hit the market at $25 and was trading above $132, at last check.

The rally has pushed the company’s market cap above $10 billion, making the stock the most expensive to borrow among active short targets.

As Pension Partner’s Charlie Bilello pointed out and as you can see from this chart, that’s more than the valuations of Shake ShackSHAK, +0.48% Wendy’sWEN, -0.38% Jack in the BoxJACK, -0.60% Red RobinRRGB, +0.80% Habit RestaurantsHABT, -3.05%and Good TimesGTIM, +4.47% … combined!

Of course, Beyond Meat has a long way to go to dethrone McDonald’sMCD, +0.69% and its lofty $154-billion market cap. That gap is only widening after J.P. MorganJPM, +0.15% analyst Ken Goldman on Tueseday backed away from his initial bullish call, citing concerns over valuation.

“As we wrote last week — ‘At some point, the extraordinary revenue and profit potential embedded in [Beyond Meat]…will be priced in’ — we think this day has arrived,” Goldman wrote in a note explaining why he believes the risk-reward scenario for investors in the stock is now balanced.

Taking it a step further, Wolf Richter of the Wolf Street blog said Monday’s action — when Beyond Meat approached an $11-billion valuation — provided a candidate for the “pinpoint minute of peak insanity” in this bubbly market.

“This is not some monolithic monopolistic iconic corporation,” he wrote. “It’s a small maker of fake-meat hamburgers and hotdogs with just $40 million in sales and $6.6 million in losses last quarter after 10 years in business — small-company stuff. And it’s competing with a gaggle of other fake-meat hamburger makers.”

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