Blue Apron shares slipped below their IPO price Friday, a shaky start for the meal-kit delivery company.
The stock sank as much as 4.5 percent amid growing concerns over the impact of tech giant Amazon’s pending acquisition of Whole Foods Market and if Blue Apron would be able to cut marketing costs and retain customers.
Blue Apron – 2 days
“This is an emerging market and growth is a long-term play,” Technomic’s Erik Thoresen, told CNBC on Thursday. “Blue Apron’s success will rely heavily on converting consumers to new ways of sourcing food at home.”
The start-up made its trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “APRN” on Thursday morning. Though the stock inched up in initial trading, briefly touching $11, the shares pared gains Thursday afternoon. The stock closed at $10, its opening price.
“I think the trading level reflects the understanding that this is not a business where growth will come easily and quickly. That is not to say that Blue Apron’s business model is poor, just that it faces a whole host of challenges that need to be factored into the stock price,” said Neil Saunders of GlobalData.
“I daresay that Blue Apron hoped to benefit from Wall Street’s traditional over-optimism when it comes to online and digital companies. However, I think investors are awake and smelling the coffee on this one.”
The company priced its initial public offering at $10 a share on Wednesday evening, the low end of the expected range of between $10 and $11 per share. With an offering of 30 million shares, the company was looking to raise about $300 million in its IPO.
Previously, the company had priced its shares in a range of $15 to $17. The move was unusual, as only 4 percent of internet IPOs have revised their range downward since 2010, according to Dealogic.
“We’re tackling a huge market, and we’re focused on the long term, quite frankly,” CEO Matthew Salzberg told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Thursday. “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.”
The proceeds from the IPO will go into investing in automation and supply chain technology, as well as expansion into meal kits that cater to more specific occasions and dietary needs, Salzberg said.