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Why Blue Apron Holding Inc Stock Popped Today

Jeremy Bowman, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of meal-kit service Blue Apron Holding Inc (NYSE: APRN) were on the rise again today even though there was no direct news out on the company. Instead, the stock seemed to be gaining because of a short squeeze and ongoing rumors that it could be acquired. As of 11:58 a.m. EDT, the stock was up 7.9%.

A collection of ingredients from a Blue Apron meal kit including meat and vegetables.

Image source; Blue Apron.

So what

Today was the second day of the last three that Blue Apron posted sizable gains. The stock jumped 11% on Tuesday, which could have been the result of former Goldman Sachs Will Meade's saying that Costco could take over Blue Apron.

Following a brief pullback yesterday, the stock has resumed its rise again today. Costco and Blue Apron have already partnered up to sell Blue Apron meal kits inside Costco's warehouses in a pilot program, but there have been no other signs of a possible acquisition or tie-up between the two.

Separately, with nearly 30% of Blue Apron's stock sold short, the meal-kit service is a good candidate for a short squeeze, or a rise in a share price when short sellers rush in to cover their bets.

Now what

With today's gains, Blue Apron has now more than doubled over the last three months as the company's prospects appear to be improving under new CEO Brad Dickerson. In other words, short sellers who have bet against the stock recently have gotten badly burnt. 

Blue Apron is down more than 60% since its IPO a year ago, so the company still has a lot to prove. While an acquisition remains a possibility, Costco seems to be an unlikely buyer as the warehouse giant rarely buys other companies and its focus is on its stores, rather than e-commerce.

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Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.