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Will Blue Apron’s Stock Show Improvement in 2019?

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Dismal performance in 2018

Blue Apron Holdings (APRN) stock was down 74.7% in 2018. On December 18, 2018, the stock price fell below $1.00 for the first time since its IPO in June 2017. Blue Apron is now facing a reduction in customers and stiff competition. These factors contributed to a muted financial performance in 2018, causing the stock price to plunge.

However, in 2019, the stock so far as of January 28 has gained 41.2% and is trading above $1.00. Any stock that falls below $1.00 runs the risk of being delisted. On January 15, the stock surged 45.2% after the company’s management issued a press release stating that it “plans to reaffirm confidence in achieving profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis both in the first quarter of 2019 and for the full year 2019 as it actively pursues the appropriate strategies to create value for its stakeholders.”

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Blue Apron will also likely discuss the positive response to its WW deal during its fourth-quarter conference call. It is working with Jet.com to bring same-day and next-day meal delivery to New York City. In addition, the company will likely update investors on its product innovation plans for both the digital platform and traditional retail stores.

Analysts have projected Blue Apron’s fourth-quarter 2018 revenues to fall 26.8% YoY to $137.4 million. However, due to operational efficiency measures, the fourth-quarter adjusted EPS is expected to be -$0.17, which reflects an improvement from EPS of -$0.20 reported in the same quarter of 2017.

Analyst ratings

Among the 14 analysts covering Blue Apron stock, 93.0% recommended a “hold,” while 7.0% have given it a “buy” rating. On January 4, Canaccord Genuity slashed its target price to $2.00 from $3.00. Currently, analysts’ 12-month average target price for Blue Apron is $1.50, which is 4.2% downside to its stock price on January 28.

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