Blue Apron hits all-time low as Amazon suggests it will get into the meal-kit business
Posted by Anita Balakrishnan on 17th July 2017

This post was originally published on CNBC NEWS

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Blue Apron shares dropped sharply on Monday morning, accelerating their downward slide amid fresh signs of competition from Amazon.

Amazon has registered a trademark in the U.S. for a service described as: “We do the prep. You be the chef,” according to a filing previously uncovered by The Sunday Times, based in the U.K.

Blue Apron shares hit an all-time intraday low of $6.51 a share, according to FactSet, and shares were last down more than 9 percent.

Blue Apron, a meal-kit delivery service backed by major investors including Fidelity, Bessemer Venture Partners, and First Round Capital, has seen shares fall after hitting the public market in late June. The stock has shed nearly 30 percent month-to-date.

The public market may be struggling to match the high valuation that Blue Apron saw in the private market, given that the company is losing money, Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused ETFs, told CNBC earlier this month.

The unicorn start-up was valued around $2 billion in the private market, according to CB Insights estimates. But the company has posted steeper net losses each year since 2014, according to regulatory filings.

Jitters around Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods hasn’t helped matters, according to David Seaburg, head of sales trading at Cowen and CNBC contributor.

“Although it’s a neat concept, the dominant players within the space will compete at a level that won’t allow Blue Apron to be successful long term,” Seaburg told CNBC earlier this month. “It’s all about scale, it’s all about relevance. You look at Kroger, Whole Foods and Amazon. They can take this section of the market over from a price perspective alone in a very short period of time.”

Still, from the opening day, CEO Matthew Salzberg told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that he’s confident the business is strong.

“We’re tackling a huge market, and we’re focused on the long term, quite frankly,” CEO Matthew Salzberg said in late June. “The stock price today, whether it’s up, down, left or right, is really just the beginning of this new chapter in our company’s life.”

Disclosure: Cowen and Company, and or its affiliates make a market in the stock of securities.