What happened 

Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE:APRN) tumbled today after the meal-kit provider delivered an underwhelming third-quarter earnings report. The stock closed down 18.6%.

In its second report as a publicly traded company, Blue Apron posted a decline in customers and missed earnings estimates. The stock moved higher at first in premarket trading after topping revenue estimates, but shares fell over the course of the session as investors reacted to lower guidance.

A dish with kale and fried eggs

Image source: Blue Apron.

So what 

Blue Apron said revenue increased just 3% in the quarter to $210.6 million, driven by an increase in the average revenue per customer, but that easily beat estimates of $191.5 million. The company's net loss more than doubled from a year ago to $0.47 per share, which was worse than expectations of $0.42. 

Customer count fell by 6% from a year ago, but the company said that was planned as it cut back marketing spending by 31% as it dealt with issues at its new production facility. Management said that following the end of the third quarter, it completed its transition to the new New Jersey plant so marketing spending should now move higher.

Now what

Looking ahead, investors seemed disappointed with a predicted slowdown in revenue growth as the company expects sales of $170 million-$190 million in the fourth quarter, but sees the bottom line narrowing in the current quarter. 

Shares of Blue Apron are now down 62% since the June IPO as the company's growth has suddenly ground to a halt amid production problems and layoffs. Without revenue, profits are unlikely to materialize. It looks like Blue Apron's problems will only continue from here.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.