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This Short-Seller Isn’t Buying Peloton’s Impressive Performance

Andrew Left’s Citron Capital predicts the fitness company’s shares will lose 80 percent of their value in the next year.

As states announced the closure of gyms and other fitness facilities Monday, shares of Peloton Interactive, the at-home fitness bike, soared.  

But one short seller is holding out against the company.  

Andrew Left’s Citron Capital, which returned 43.3 percent in 2019 net of fees, is betting that Peloton’s shares will fall 80 percent over the next year, according to an analysis published Friday. Left did not respond to an emailed request for comment.  

Although Peloton has maintained somewhat of a strong position “during this market demolition,” its financials are stretched, according to Left’s analysis. Recent analyst coverage, according to Citron, justified price targets using financial predictions for 2030. “If we are still afraid to leave our homes in our homes in 2030 having a few extra pounds is the least of our worries,” Left wryly noted in the report. 

Citron argued that following Apple’s announcement that it is launching a fitness streaming service of its own, Peloton’s pricey bikes may become less attractive to consumers, as they won’t be able to offer the same variety of classes across a variety of devices that Apple will be able to.  

This is especially true, according to Citron, given current market conditions.  

“With a potential recession on the horizon, selling $2,000 bikes with a $39 a month subscription might not be the best business model,” the report said. “Apple will no doubt deliver a quality product with the highest technologic integration that we look forward to as a consumer.” 

Citron’s price target for Peloton is $5 per share, valuing the company at $1 billion. This price target was calculated based on the number of subscribers and enterprise value, Citron’s report showed.  

On Monday, though, Peloton’s shares had climbed to $22 per share, an increase of nearly 12 percent since Friday’s closing price, by 3:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This was even as major indexes fell, some by 10 percent, since Friday’s close price.  

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But, Citron predicted in its report, the headwinds facing Peloton and other “stay-at-home stocks” will make it more valuable than it should be, for now.  

Citron predicts, however, that “the dream of Peloton becoming the official platform of home health will soon be a distant memory.” 

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