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Surprised by how deep some issues ran at the company


Barry McCarthy, chief financial officer at Spotify, attend annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 11, 2018 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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Barry McCarthy appeared to be running PelotonHe was shocked to discover how chaotic the supply chain was, and how fast the cash reserves of the company were shrinking three months back.

McCarthy stated that turnarounds are unpredictable and were part of the nature of turning points on Tuesday during his conference call with Peloton.

Peloton’s supply chain was weaker than the CEO had anticipated, he said after digging deeper into the business. The biggest surprise in the last quarter was Cash Flow, which he said was shocking.

The former is still true Netflix SpotifyThe executive said that Peloton was able to address cash flow issues quickly without diluting existing shareholders while maintaining adequate capital. McCarthy also noted that Peloton had more talent than he expected to find.

McCarthy’s Wall Street remarks on Tuesday were very high stakes considering Peloton’s falling share price, and waning confidence from investors about the possibility that it can succeed in a post-pandemic environment.

Tuesday’s CEO letter to shareholders was sent with disappointing results for the three-month period ended March 31Peloton’s financial year is ending on June 30th, and this quarter has a grim outlook. McCarthy quickly identified areas in which former Peloton managers had failed to be successful while setting the foundation for his turnaround plan.

Investors now are more interested in the current state of things, at least for the moment. Peloton stock fell to an all-time low Tuesday morning. It brought down the company’s market valuation to around $4 billion. Near the beginning of last year, it was as high as $50 Billion.

McCarthy said that, despite the stock’s current price, he was still optimistic about McCarthy’s company’s future, and that it would be a good thing for Wall Street.

He said, “I’m not trying to be pollyannaish. But I hope that one day soon we will look back at this call and see it as one of our important turning points in business.”

Shifting priorities

McCarthy’s Check List:

  • Selling Peloton products to third-party sellers through other businesses is a way of breaking into these retailers
  • The digital app is growing in popularity, and can help people avoid the commitment to buying a Tread or bike.
  • International expansion
  • A pilot program is being launched that allows customers to pay one flat-rate per month for a Peloton stationary bike and have access to its on-demand and live workouts.

On the conference call, he stated: “We must be proficient in hardware. But being skilled at hardware is far from sufficient.” This requires a change in investment priorities for the company.

Importantly, he also aims to return the business to free cash flow in the upcoming fiscal year.

The most recent cash infusion from JPMorgan and Goldman SachsMcCarthy suggested that Peloton should be allowed to do so, despite any economic headwinds. McCarthy’s letter stated that Peloton was “thinly capitalized” at $879 million unrestricted cash or cash equivalents as it ended the quarter.

Many investors may have to take a break until they can see more signs of improvement. Some also worry that Peloton could lose a fraction of its existing subscriber base — which has proven loyal during the pandemic — if they change too much and too soon.

Arpine Kocharyan from UBS stated that Peloton’s investors will likely be more concerned about its ability to maintain cash flow and liquidity in the short term. Peloton is focusing more on the net current value of subscribers under McCarthy, Kocharyan stated in a note for clients.

Analysts are also questioning McCarthy’s strategy in relation to John Foley, the former CEO of Peloton. Foley was a successful leader of Peloton’s connected fitness equipment manufacturer through the peak of the pandemic. Peloton faced some challenges, as consumers demanded a decrease in their products, but the costs remained high. Additionally, Peloton had invested in unnecessary manufacturing hubs that were no longer necessary.

Simeon Siegel, analyst at BMO Capital Markets said that the company “continues to suggest with its words that they understand they need to turn around.” But they insist on the idea that their North star growth story is what drives them.

He said, “If the company focused on their existing inventory sales and bear-hugging their loyalists instead of trying to grow their business,”. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that their story is entitled to growth.

McCarthy again reiterated Tuesday the goal of Peloton to have 100 million members by 2020, which McCarthy said was a realistic goal. Foley laid out in 2020.

“I know of digital apps that already have more than 100 million people that are focused on fitness. “I can’t believe why, after our success so early in the category that we weren’t one of those apps,” he stated.

Peloton reported 7 million subscribers on March 31.