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HBO's 'Sex and the City' Reboot Delivers More Bad PR for Peloton

A major character (spoilers ahead) dropped dead using one of the company's connected fitness bikes.
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Some have said that any publicity is good publicity. We’ll see if that’s true for the renowned fitness equipment/software company Peloton  (PTON) - Get Peloton Interactive, Inc. Class A Report.

<SPOILERS AHEAD>

One of its stationary bikes appeared in the first episode of “And Just Like That…” -- a “Sex and the City” update -- on HBO Max Thursday. But the context wasn’t particularly positive. Chris Noth's Mr. Big dropped dead after 45 minutes on the bike.

Peloton said it didn’t know how its product would be used on the show, nor did it pay for the placement. So don’t blame the bike for Mr. Big’s untimely demise, according to multiple media reports.

Don't Blame Peloton

“I’m sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack,” Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist on Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council, Peloton said in a statement cited by Us Weekly.

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But, “Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle—including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks—and was at serious risk.”

The company’s stock recently traded at $39.37, down 3% (though it's unlikely the HBO show had a meaningful impact on shares). It has plunged 56% since Nov. 3, after cutting its forecast for annual revenue by up to $1 billion Nov. 4.

Peloton Gets a Downgrade

The slide Friday more likely came from a Credit Suisse downgrade rather than Mr. Big biting the big one.

The bank lowered its rating on Peloton to neutral from outperform and slashed its price target to $50 from $112 amid concern about demand for the company’s products.

“Consumers appear fixated on reopening themes and purchases with an unclear timeline for normalization. We think these factors increase the likelihood of a no-to-low growth fiscal 2022,” Credit Suisse said, according to CNBC.

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