Beyond Meat's first earnings report since going public on May 2 easily beat analysts’ expectations, with the company now predicting it will more than double its revenue this year compared to 2018.

Shares of the plant-based meat substitutes firm founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown soared to as high as 23 percent in after-hours trading Thursday before settling down 18 percent at $117.49.

Beyond Meat net revenues skyrocketed 215 percent to $40.2 million from January to March compared to $12.8 million in Q1 2018.  This figure also topped expectations of $38.9 million, according to a Refinitiv survey of analysts.

Beyond Meat said growth in total Q1 2019 net revenues was driven primarily by an increase in sales of The Beyond Burger, the expansion in the number of retail and foodservice outlets, and stronger demand from existing customers.

On the other hand, Beyond Meat reported a first-quarter net loss of $6.6 million (95 cents per share), or 14 percent higher than the net loss of $5.7 million (98 cents per share) year-on-year. It reported a loss of 14 cents per share for Q1 on a pro forma basis to adjust for the conversion of stock warrants.

“We are very pleased with our successful IPO during the month of May and our strong first quarter financial results that we believe demonstrate mainstream consumers’ desire for plant-based meat products in the United States and internationally,” said CEO Ethan Brown.

Beyond Meat predicted its revenue to more than double in 2019 on account of stronger demand from existing and new customers.

“We’re being very conservative and viewing this as a floor,” said Brown to analysts on a conference call about its full-year outlook.

Brown, however, refused to provide guidance for its annual net loss or individual quarters. He did say he expects the company’s second and third quarters to be its busiest.

“We feel very strongly that we have solid capacity that is in excess of our 2019 and (2020) forecast,” Brown pointed out.

Beyond Meat now has a market cap of $6.0 billion and had this year’s best first day for an IPO in the U.S. The company’s $25 IPO price tripled within three days, giving Beyond Meat a value of $4.4 billion. Its share price stood at $117 as of Thursday after-hours.

GettyImages-Beyond Meat IPO Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown (C) gives the thumbs up after the company's stock begins to trade at Nasdaq MarketSite, May 2, 2019 in New York City. The company is famous for its plant-based faux meat that is supposed to feel and taste like the real thing. Photo: Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Beyond Meat develops and produces plant protein-based food products. Its vegan meat substitutes are made from mixtures of pea protein isolates, rice protein, coconut oil and mung bean protein, among others. It also contains other ingredients such as potato starch, apple extract, and sunflower lecithin, along with vitamins and minerals.

Beyond Meat is marketing its meat substitutes to vegetarians and vegans, and to consumers desirous of restricting their meat intake for health or environmental reasons.

The market for plant-based meat substitutes was placed $1.44 billion 2018 and should grow to $2.50 billion by 2023, according to Euromonitor. In 2018, Beyond Meat controlled only 2.1 percent of the U.S. meat alternative market.