Shares of Blue Apron (APRN) were sizzling, moving higher on an ongoing short squeeze in the meal kit stock. Blue Apron continued to gain even as other meme stocks like Bed Bath & Beyond and AMC Entertainment faded.
As of 2:50 p.m. ET, the stock was up 23.4%. Since the stock began to rally on Aug. 8, its shares have doubled.
Like other meme stocks that have shot up in recent weeks, Blue Apron stock has been riding higher on what seems to be a mix of a wave buying among traders from platforms like Reddit and a short squeeze, which has accelerated the run-up. As of the end of July, 23% of Blue Apron shares were sold short, setting up the squeeze play. Today, about 17 million shares had changed hands with one hour left in the session, well above its daily average of 3.4 million shares, indicating heavy interest in the stock.
The main driver of the surge today appears to be an extended post on Reddit's short squeeze board, outlining the bull case for the stock. The poster argues Blue Apron is much cheaper than its meal kit peers based on its price-to-sales ratio of 4, and calculates that the company's liquidation value is between $19 and $30 a share, though a number of their assumptions seem dubious. The post also explains why Blue Apron is a good target for a short squeeze since most of the stock is held by insiders, limiting the amount of stock available to short.
Coming on the heels of the rally over the last two weeks, that post, which received several dozen comments, seemed to help give the stock an additional leg up.
Despite the argument above, the fundamentals for Blue Apron continue to look weak. Growth has been flat for several years, and the meal kit industry as a whole has struggled with high competition and poor economics, which make it hard for it to compete with supermarkets.
Blue Apron's revenue was flat in the most recent quarter at $124.2 million, and it reported an operating loss of $22.7 million. On a free cash flow basis, it's lost $50 million through the first half of the year.
While traders can keep pushing the shares higher, the bull case based on fundamentals looks thin based on its flat revenue growth and wide losses.