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Blue Apron closes at new low after analyst slaps on $2 price target

Anita Balakrishnan
Blue Apron closes at new low after analyst slaps on $2 price target

Tuesday was another crushing day for Blue Apron (NYSE: APRN) on Wall Street.

Shares fell more than 12 percent, hitting a new closing low of $7.14 a share, just above the all-time intraday low of $7.08 a share. The move lower came after Northcoast Research released a note recommending clients sell the stock, placing the target price at $2 a share.

The note from analyst Chuck Cerankosky marked one of the first formal reactions to Blue Apron's June IPO from a Wall Street analyst. Shares have fallen more than 20 percent month to date, amid jitters surrounding the company's valuation and a merger between Amazon and Whole Foods .

"Our financial outlook for the company is one of continued losses," Cerankosky said. "Sales growth seems to be dependent at this time upon promotional discounts."

Blue Apron, backed by First Round Capital, SG Growth Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, lost nearly as much money in the first quarter of 2017 ($52 million, on quarterly revenue of $244 million) as it did in all of 2016 (when it lost $55 million on $795 million in revenue).

Despite investments from technology investors, Cerankosky wrote that Blue Apron "is not a technology company just because orders are received digitally," pointing to its labor-intensive assembly process for each meal kit. Blue Apron might not become profitable even in Cerankosky's model of a best-case scenario for the company.

Still, Blue Apron said in IPO filings that the company relies "on our proprietary technology and data to forecast demand and predict our customers' orders [and] determine the amounts of ingredients and other supply to purchase." That, the company says, will make it more efficient over time.

Many more analysts are likely to share their opinions on the company in the coming weeks, and may or may not agree with Cerankosky.

"When you have a company that's not making money, the anchor for its valuation is very weak," Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused ETFs, told CNBC last week.

— With reporting by CNBC's Michael Bloom

Watch: Are Blue Apron & Snap the worst IPOs ever?

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