Blue Apron’s stock is a cautionary tale for 2019’s unprofitable IPOs

Blue Apron is finally in the black, but its path to profitability reduced its stock to 1/10 of its IPO value.


May 2, 2019

Earlier this week, Blue Apron reported its first quarterly profit since going public 2 years ago, reports The Wall Street Journal

But don’t pop the champagne corks just yet: Blue Apron’s stock price has plummeted to 1/10 of its IPO value, and the company lost its 3 founders.

Blue Apron went stale after its IPO

Although Blue Apron helped to kick-start the meal-kit craze, its projected growth failed to materialize.

Since hitting public markets, Blue Apron’s customer count has fallen from over 1m to 550k. The soiled Apron’s stock price is now just $1.05 per share, and if it dips below $1 for 30 days, it could be delisted from the NYSE.

A reminder of the perils of an unprofitable IPO

Blue Apron was unprofitable when it went public 2 years ago, but investors sank money into the ill-fated IPO anyway due to forecasts for continued industry growth. 

Today, the cycle could be starting all over again: A handful of unprofitable startups — Lyft, Pinterest, Chew.com, Uber — are going public this year. 

Like Blue Apron, they’re flying high on investor confidence. But if industry forecasts fail to materialize, their paths to profitability could be as ugly as the Apron’s.

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