What happened

Shares of Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:APRN) were sliding today after the meal-kit service posted another round of disappointing results in its third-quarter earnings report. Revenue continued to plunge, and the company announced layoffs as it struggles to get to breakeven. As a result, the stock closed down 4.5% after falling as much as 10.7% earlier in the session.

So what  

Revenue tumbled 28% in the quarter to $150.6 million, widely missing the consensus analyst mark at $160.3 million, as Blue Apron continued to lose customers amid a pullback in marketing following last year's operational errors and as the company cuts costs in an effort to reach its break-even point. Customer count in the quarter fell 24.6% from 856,000 to 646,000, and average revenue per customer declined from $245 to $233. 

A collection of ingredients in a Blue Apron meal kit

Image source: Blue Apron.

However, Blue Apron made improvements on the cost side as cost of goods sold improved by 10 percentage points from a year ago, and the company cut its operating loss by more than half to -$32 million. Its adjusted per-share loss narrowed from -$0.48 to -$0.17, beating estimates at -$0.22 a share.

Commenting on the company's steps to profitability, CEO Brad Dickerson said, "As we look ahead, we are confident in our disciplined approach to pursue initiatives that will enable us to realize the results we expect, with a deliberate emphasis on reaching profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis next year."

Separately, the company also said it would lay off 4% of its workforce in order to accelerate its push toward profitability. 

Now what  

Blue Apron maintained its full-year guidance of a net loss of -$135 million to -$140 million, and management said it expected its current revenue slide to continue into the fourth quarter. Looking ahead to 2019, CFO Tim Bensley said the company would curtail its customer acquisition spending and focus on its most efficient channels.

While the company may be able to trim its way to profitability, it will need to return to top-line growth in order to be attractive to investors. Given the continued plunge in revenue, it's not surprising to see today's sell-off.

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.