Why Beyond Meat Shares Jumped 11% Higher Today

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What happened

Shares of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ: BYND), a maker of plant-based "meat" products, closed Wednesday's trading session at a 13.3% gain. The driving force behind this sudden jump came from an offhand remark by McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) CEO Steve Easterbrook -- on national TV.

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So what

In a CNBC video clip (CNBC is owned by Comcast), reporter Carl Quintanilla asked Easterbrook whether McDonald's might be interested in bringing vegan meat alternatives to the mainstream market, specifically citing Beyond Meat as a potential provider of the required food products.

"Absolutely no idea at this stage," said Easterbrook. "Clearly, anyone who has something they want to get scale to will often look to McDonald's to be that partner -- to help them scale."

Easterbrook never added Beyond Meat's name into his own comments, but he also seemed to be open to the idea of adding plant-based meat alternatives to the regular menu at some point.

Now what

As market-moving news go, this was a pretty lightweight comment dropped by a big-name CEO on a national broadcast stage. McDonald's already has some meatless tests running in certain European markets, typically based on a competing solution from Swiss food giant Nestle.

Even so, Easterbrook had to remind Quintanilla and his viewers what he said about a broader introduction on McDonald's first-quarter earnings call in April:

In other words, McDonald's is thinking about meat alternatives, but remains far from making any kind of large-scale announcement in that arena. Beyond Meat's investors simply overreacted to today's TV-based exposure.

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Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast and Nestle. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.