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Blue Apron Shares Off After Report of Wider First-Quarter Loss

Blue Apron's first-quarter loss widened on 28% lower revenue. The pandemic is nonetheless helping demand for meal kits as consumers stay home.
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Blue Apron  (APRN)  shares dropped on Wednesday after the meal-kit provider reported a wider first-quarter loss on 28% lower revenue.

The loss was $20.1 million, or $1.51 a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $5.3 million, or 41 cents, in the year-earlier period. Shares outstanding rose 2.5% to 13.3 million. 

Revenue dropped to $101.9 million in the latest quarter from $141.9 million a year ago. 

The widening loss and declining revenue didn’t result from the coronavirus, the company said. The revenue drop reflected Blue Apron's “deliberate reduction in marketing spend in prior periods while focusing on marketing efficiency and targeting high affinity consumers,” the company said in a statement.

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“Net revenue increased 8% quarter-over-quarter, largely reflecting the company’s reaccelerated marketing efforts in the first quarter of 2020 as well as seasonal trends in the business.”

The pandemic is actually helping sales, Blue Apron said.

“Beginning late in the first quarter of 2020, Blue Apron has experienced a significant increase in demand for its meal kits primarily as a result of changes to consumer behavior following the implementation of stay-at-home and restaurant restriction orders … in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

"The company believes there will be an ongoing positive impact on demand for its meals, although the duration and extent of this demand increase is unknown."

Blue Apron stock at last check stood at $8.95, down 29%. The shares had tripled in the three months through Tuesday, compared with a 13% loss for the S&P 500.