August 10, 2017
Alex Wilhelm is the Editor in Chief of Crunchbase News, covering the intersection of startups and money.
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Early this morning, Blue Apron reported its second quarter earnings results. The disclosure marked the company’s first earnings report as a public company.

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The company beat revenue expectations but missed on profit by racking up a larger-than-expected loss. The firm showed falling customer numbers and rising costs in certain areas.

After the mixed report, shares of Blue Apron fell sharply, trading off 17.6 percent as of the time of writing. Blue Apron is currently worth $5.14 per share, off nearly 50 percent from its dramatically lowered IPO price.

Quickly, here are the key numbers from the company’s quarter. We’ll start with the positive figure, and work downwards.

1. $238.1 Million

Blue Apron generated $238.1 million in its second quarter, ahead of analyst expectations. According to reporting from TechCrunch, the street had anticipated a more modest $235.8 million in top line.

That Blue Apron beat expectations here is critical, as the company’s other metrics were often strained. But the company can hang its hat on the fact that it did post better-than-expected revenue expansion.

2. 18 Percent

18 percent is how fast the company’s revenue grew on a year-over-year basis. That Blue Apron beat revenue expectations while delivering such an anemic growth percentage is a bad sign.

If the bar is low enough, even a beat can be a disappointment. For a company that spends as much as Blue Apron does on marketing to grow this little implies churn. That metric — how often customers acquired become customers lost — has been and remains a critical question for Blue Apron. The company needs to keep customers signed up and buying its product for a decent interval to recoup the costs of acquiring them. The longer it can retain customers that it has already acquired, the more efficient its marketing spend will be.

And more efficient spend only means better operating margins, long-term.

3. $163.5 Million

That is how much Blue Apron spent on “cost of goods,” or the raw cost of creating its product. As we all know, net revenue minus cost of goods sold equals gross profit, a key profit metric that shows how much money a company can spend on operational costs and still make money.

Sadly, for Blue Apron, its cost of goods rose faster on a percentage basis than its revenue in the quarter. As we just learned, the company’s revenue grew by 18 percent. Its cost of goods? Here’s the company:

Cost of Goods Sold, excluding depreciation and amortization (COGS), increased 28% year-over-year to $163.5 million in the second quarter of 2017, and increased 560 basis points as a percentage of net revenue, driven by increased costs associated with the ongoing launch of new infrastructure to support Blue Apron’s product expansion initiatives, including the launch of its new Linden, New Jersey facility. This increase also reflects higher food costs related to increased use of seasonal produce and other premium ingredients in Blue Apron’s recipes.

Alas. As you can expect, the company’s gross margin (the percentage of its revenue that becomes gross profit) fell from 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter, to 31.3 percent. That’s bad.

4. -$31.6 Million

That’s Blue Apron’s second quarter loss, on a GAAP basis. GAAP, which has a technical definition, simply means “inclusive of all the annoying costs that many companies want to pretend aren’t real.”

Losing money while growing is fine, of course, as we see across a large number of tech companies. But Blue Apron’s loss in the quarter is larger sin than it may appear, not only because investors expected a smaller deficit, but because the company actually made money a year ago.

In the second quarter of 2016, the firm had profits of more than $5 million. To go from that to a more than $30 million loss is quite as swing.

5. -9 Percent

That’s how many customers Blue Apron lost in the quarter not compared to its year-ago quarter. Rather, that is compared to its first quarter of this year. So, on a sequential basis, Blue Apron lost nearly one in every ten customers it had.

The firm did have more customers than the year-ago period, though it posted slimmer revenue-per-customer than in the year-ago period.

It’s Not All Bad

What Blue Apron has post-IPO is a new bucket of cash. That means it has time to work out the above kinks, bends, whiffs, and whoopsies. Here’s the company:

Blue Apron closed its initial public offering of 30,000,000 shares of Class A common stock on July 5, 2017, generating net proceeds of $278.5 million. The proceeds from the offering will be reflected in Blue Apron’s financial statements in the third quarter of 2017.

That, plus its additional cash and open credit, gives the meal kit company time to prove its critics wrong. If it can.