Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Blue Apron delivers flat first day on stock market

Blue Apron slices share price range hinting at tough marketMore Blue Apron slices share price range hinting at tough marketMore
Troy Mann | 30 June, 2017, 00:44

For a trendy startup, an initial public offering is supposed to be a neat, pre-packaged experience: by following a simple set of instructions, you end up with a handsome product that looks like something cooked up by a professional. The company will offer Class A shares of common stock with voting rights.

Following Amazon's landmark purchase of Whole Foods last week, Blue Apron announced a surprisingly optimistic IPO price.

And if Blue Apron's IPO ends up being a flash in the pan?

Blue Apron has been overshadowed by Amazon.com Inc.'s agreement to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion just three days before the meal-kit company launched its IPO.

The stock touched a high of $11, giving the company a market capitalization of about $2 billion, before paring gains to trade at $10.17.

The newly minted public company got off to a bland start, pricing its initial shares at $10 per share, well below earlier hopes of fetching between $15 to $17.

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Kang also said the founder and chief executive of the company, Matthew Salzberg, has been selling his shares since 2014 even as his sale prices have been declining.

The unprofitable meal kit-delivery company, which touted its growth prospects to potential investors on its IPO roadshow, has leaned on its marketing strategy to build a customer base.

Of the two companies, Delivery Hero has less to worry about for now because Whole Foods stores are primarily located in North America, with just nine in the United Kingdom. With most USA stock indexes and many tech giants trading near record highs, however, Blue Apron's last-minute discount is telling.

While Blue Apron saw a 133 percent increase in net revenue to $795 million past year, marketing expenses increased 180 percent to $144 million, according to its deal filing. It will list its shares under the ticker symbol APRN.

In the short couple weeks that yuppie meal-in-a-box delivery service Blue Apron spent on its IPO roadshow, basically everything in the world that could go wrong for the company did. The company said it had more than 1 million customers at the end of March.

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