Everything you need to know

By Lucinda Shen
Updated: June 29, 2017 9:08 AM ET | Originally published: June 28, 2017

Blue Apron lovers can finally have a piece of the company that has saved them from planning many a meal.

The meal-kit company is finally went public Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, under ticker symbol “APRN.” The company opened at $10 a share, in line with its IPO price, and popped as much as 9.8% by midday trading, giving the company a valuation of about $2 billion.

Still, that’s lower than the $15 to $17 a share price that the company had quoted earlier on in its IPO process, suggesting institutional investors just aren’t as excited about the company as previously thought.

So should investors buy Blue Apron shares?

Some critics have voiced concerns about the company’s heavy expenses, requiring $94 to acquire a single customer. Yet, each customer on average orders $57.23 worth of food each quarter. Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods was also a punch in the gut, with some investors worrying that the e-commerce titan’s push into grocery could make it much harder for Blue Apron to grow. On top of it all, the company is still unprofitable.

But there’s also a more bullish case. The company’s growth has been undeniable, with its revenue surging from just $77.8 million in 2014 to $795.4 million last year. It also has room for growth. Online sales make up just 1.2% of the overall $781.5 billion grocery market. Between 2017 and 2020, Blue Apron expects the segment to grow by 8.5% on a compound annual basis. Moreover, the stock now looks quite a bit cheaper if reports have it right.

 

Courtesy: Blue Apron

 

So what time will retail investors be able to buy shares of the company?

Eager investors who don’t think the doubters have can start buying shares now. Shares began trading at 10:29 a.m. on Thursday. Snap for instance began trading at 11:19 a.m. when it debuted in March.

 

What does each stock get you?

Class A shares each entitled to a single vote — a relatively minimal level of voting power. Most of the power lies in the hands of executives like CEO Matthew Salzberg or investors such as Bessemer Venture Partners. These existing shareholders will hold about 98.1% of the voting power.

 

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