Blue Apron stock surged 16 percent Monday, after Barclays said the company could be reaching a "stabilization point" given its disappointing performance since its last earnings report.
Shares of the company had fallen roughly 15 percent since its November earnings call, and they may have finally bottomed, according to analyst Ross Sandler, who upgraded the stock to equal weight from underweight. The analyst also cited new CEO Brad Dickerson as a solid leadership choice.
"The promotion of Brad Dickerson to CEO is positive, in our view, given his experience and operational background," Sandler wrote in a note Monday. "Blue Apron mentioned in the press release that: 1) On-time, in-full rates in the Linden facility are at parity with the other warehouses (vs "well below 1 standard deviation" just four weeks back) and 2) margins are up significantly from third-quarter level in the fourth quarter."
The stock closed Friday at $3.23, far below its $10 IPO price just a few months ago. Sandler's price target of $4 represents 24 percent upside from last week's close.
To be sure, Sandler isn't ready to issue an overweight rating on the young home cooking company; growing competition may prove problematic for Blue Apron, even if it gets its own operations in order. Germany-based Hellofresh – which also provides preportioned ingredients to home cooking subscribers — is starting to encroach on Blue Apron's turf, the analyst said.
"HelloFresh continues to take market share in the U.S. with FX-neutral growth of 86 percent year over year in the region," added Sandler. "HelloFresh seems to be filling the void left behind from Blue Apron's marketing reductions."