Will COVID-19 Make or Break Blue Apron Stock?

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) stock again leaped forward Thursday as more investors flocked to the online food delivery service. In the past week, Blue Apron stock has seen explosive growth: over 600% to Wednesday’s close. Has anything really changed at this once weak food delivery service?

A couple of analysts made calls on the stock back on February 19 and 20. SunTrust Banks reiterated a Hold rating with a $5 price target, and Canaccord Genuity also reiterated a Hold rating and but lowered its price target to $5 from $7. However, the stock has far surpassed these targets in less than a month.

In terms of what’s going on, it’s not so much what’s changed about Blue Apron but really the world. The coronavirus effectively has shut down almost everything. As bars, restaurants and more businesses close across the country, people still have to eat, and Blue Apron provides that avenue.

Blue Apron offers a food delivery service. Customers are sent meals that they then prepare and cook. This is more or less the equivalent of Domino’s mailing its customers the ingredients of a pizza and the customer playing chef.

Here’s the thing, food delivery (and delivery in general) will ramp up as COVID-19 runs its course. The question is whether Blue Apron can rise to the occasion to support a ramp in orders. With one of the biggest names in the food-delivery space, Blue Apron has a lot of potential here.

On the other hand, Blue Apron has not been profitable, and it still is losing money on each order. An influx of new orders could very well be the death of this company by means of success.

Blue Apron stock traded up about 44% at $23.50, in a 52-week range of $2.01 to $28.84. The consensus price target is $5.50.