Blue Apron Extends 1,100% Surge to Highest Level Since 2018

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. shares extended a record four-day surge that has seen the stock jump more than 1,100% this week alone.

The meal-kit delivery company opened above $25 a share for the first time since the fall of 2018, asinvestors flock for safety from the coronavirus-driven rout. The optimism comes as Americans prepare for a potential “shelter-in-place” order that would restrict their ability to leave their homes.

The shares spiked as much as 77% on Thursday, trading at the highest level since September 2018, before trimming those gains and triggering a volatility pause. The latest move comes as confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, hit 217,506 worldwide and deaths exceeded 9,000.

Short interest has moved higher over the last two weeks as investors placed bets against the company. More than 40% of shares available for trading are currently sold short, according to data compiled by financial analytics firm S3 Partners, which is just below a recent peak of 48% at the end of February.

Food delivery peer Waitr Holdings Inc. extended a now 1,100% surge of its own over the last four sessions. The Lake Charles, Louisiana-based company has jumped from a penny stock to a now $290 million market value. Waitr was the most actively-traded company on a volume basis, with more shares being swapped than Ford Motor Co. and General Electric Co. combined.

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