By Nivedita Balu and Tina Bellon
June 6 (Reuters) - Beyond Meat Inc, a maker of plant-based burgers and sausages, said it expects to more than double its revenue and report breakeven EBITDA this year, sending the its shares up over 21 percent.
The company said it expects to record revenue of $210 million in 2019, with break-even earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
Analysts on average forecast full-year sales of $205 million, and a loss, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, of $10.28 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
The company has captured a wide audience for its imitation meat patties and sausages made from ingredients like pea protein, coconut and canola oil.
The burgers, a hit with consumers switching to a "flexitarian" diet, feel, smell and taste like real meat.
Beyond Meat's sales have increased five-fold since it began selling its flagship Beyond Burger in 2016.
For an interactive graphic, click here tmsnrt.rs/2WWPsra
"We are very conservative and view this as a floor," Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown said on a conference call when asked about the revenue forecast. The company does not count customers who are using its products as a part of a testing project.
"As we are entering into additional test and distribution channels and take on new customers, those will be additive to our numbers," Brown said.
The company is also working on making its plant-based products cheaper than animal protein to capture more market share.
Beyond Meat, whose rivals include U.S.-based Impossible Foods, is likely to face increasing competition in the niche market as companies like Nestlé and Tyson Foods ready their own line of products.
"Beyond Meat, right now, does have the first mover advantage," said Megan Brantley, vice president of research at LikeFolio.
The California-based company said net loss widened to $6.6 million in the three months ended March 30, from $5.7 million a year earlier.
First-quarter net revenue came in at $40.2 million, an increase of 215%, the company said. Analysts had expected revenue of $38.9 million.
"Beyond Meat is in a business that could be absolutely incredible," John Gillin, an analyst with Stansberry Research, said.
Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Cynthia Osterman