Blue Apron Jumps as CEO Signals Worst Is Over for Company

(Bloomberg) -- Blue Apron Holdings Inc. shares jumped the most in two months after the beleaguered meal-delivery company reported year-end sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates and the chief executive officer predicted significantly narrower losses this year.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $187.7 million, beating estimates for $186.25 million. Blue Apron’s net loss was 20 cents a share, the company said in a statement Tuesday, compared with the Wall Street consensus forecast for a loss of 27 cents. Net losses will contract by another 33 percent over 2018, CEO Brad Dickerson said on a conference call.

The news is encouraging after a dismal first year as a public company: growth disappeared, competitors rushed into the market and problems at one of the its meal-packing centers only made matters worse. Dickerson took over from the company’s co-founder in November, vowing to turn things around.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Dickerson said, while telling analysts that the company had made serious progress on keeping food costs down and fixing the issues at its New Jersey packing center. This year, he plans to start increasing marketing spending again and expand the company’s product line so it becomes a “consumer lifestyle brand” instead of a narrowly-focused meal-service company, Dickerson said.

The shares jumped as much as 25 percent, the most since December 4. They’re still down 65 percent from their initial public offering.

Blue Apron is bleeding customers. It had 746,00 users at the end of 2017, compared with 879,000 at the same time a year earlier. Its competitors include HelloFresh SE, Inc. and even traditional grocery stores.

Blue Apron Jumps as CEO Signals Worst Is Over for Company

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