Peloton shares plunge 20% as losses widen and sales guidance cut | Business

Peloton’s share price crashed 20% in early trading after the exercise bike maker missed revenue targets, cut sales guidance and reported a bigger quarterly loss than anticipated, and its boss described turning the company around as “emotionally draining”.

Peloton, whose market value has fallen by more than 80% over the last year, reported revenues of $ 964m (£ 780m), down from $ 1.26bn in the same quarter last year, as the pandemic-enforced trend for home workouts that fueled a surge in sales of its hi-tech, internet-connected exercise bikes peters out.

The company, which missed analyst revenue estimates by about $ 6m in its fiscal third quarter to the end of March, reported a loss of $ 757m.

“Turnarounds are hard work,” chief executive Barry McCarthy, who took over from co-founder John Foley in February, said in a letter to shareholders. “It is intellectually challenging, emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and all-consuming. It’s a full-contact sport. “

In January, Peloton said in a message to its 3,200 staff that it needed to “evaluate” its workforce, subsequently cutting thousands of jobs, and indicated it needed to implement production curbs because of a slump in demand.

“The balance sheet challenge has been managing inventory,” said McCarthy, a former chief financial officer at Spotify and Netflix. “We have too much for the current run rate of the business, and that inventory has consumed an enormous amount of cash, more than we expected, which has caused us to rethink our capital structure. Fortunately the obsolescence risk on this is negligible, and we believe the inventory will sell eventually. So this is primarily a cashflow timing issue, not a structural issue. ”

Peloton said it expected to report revenues of $ 675m to $ 700m in its fourth quarter, well below analysts’ average estimate of $ 820.9m.

The company said this was due to “softer demand” compared with its previous guidance, and recent hardware price reductions.

Peloton said the number of members grew 5% quarter-on-quarter to 7 million, with the number of workouts during the quarter growing by almost a third to 184.3m.

The company, which is implementing a price increase to its monthly subscription fee from 1 June, said it had only experienced a “modest” customer churn rate so far this year.

It said it had signed a deal with JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs to borrow $ 750m in five-year term debt.

Peloton has said it is not seeking a sale, but reports suggested the company may look to sell a stake of as much as 20% of the business to an outside investor to accelerate its turnaround strategy.

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