Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) were sliding again last month as questions about the company's long-term viability continued following another disappointing earnings report in August. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, the stock finished September down 15%.
There was no single piece of news that drove the stock lower. Rather, the ongoing sense that competition was continuing to take market share from Blue Apron, and that the company's own efforts to restore subscriber growth were underwhelming, seemed to weigh on the stock.
Image source: Blue Apron.
As the chart below shows, it was a volatile month for the stock, but shares headed lower through most of September.
Blue Apron started the month on a sour note as yet another competitor entered the meal-kit business. At the end of August, Target (NYSE: TGT) announced a new line of private-label meals from Archer Farms, featuring more than 100 different recipes at prices from $2.99 to $8.99. That's considerably cheaper than Blue Apron meals, which are generally $9.99 per person per meal for a two-person kit.
On Sept. 20, the stock got a boost on what might have been a short squeeze, though that proved to be short-lived. In the beginning of October, the company launched a new pilot partnership with Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) selling on-demand meals in New York, though the move seemed to strike investors as a sign of desperation. Grubhub is known for delivering restaurant takeout meals, and many questioned the lack of convenience in waiting for delivery of a Blue Apron meal, which still needs to be cooked.
Blue Apron shares are currently hovering near an all-time low as of the time of this article, worth just $1.40. The stock has crashed more than 85% in a little more than a year since its IPO, and has yet to report an inspiring round of earnings. Management said the company could reach breakeven on an EBITDA basis by the end of the year, but the goal seems dubious at this point. Barring an acquisition, I'd expect shares to continue to swoon.
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