Peloton has fallen from grace since its heady days of peak popularity during the pandemic. Falling stock prices and a tragedy-driven treadmill recall had headlined a disastrous two years for the company.
Another bombshell dropped Thursday, as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPC) announced a sweeping, new safety recall covering millions of the company's popular home exercise bikes sold in the U.S.
Peloton safety recall details
USPC announced Thursday that the flagship Peloton bikes' seat posts can break during use, posing significant health hazards. The release advised that consumers "should immediately stop using the recalled exercise bikes and contact Peloton for a free repair."
USPC describes a litany of equipment failure and injury reports Peloton has already received, including 13 reports of injuries including lacerations, bruises and a fractured wrist.
The 2,160,000 affected bikes are from the $1,400 PL01 line. They were sold in the United States at Peloton and Dick’s Sporting Goods stores nationwide, as well as online at retailers Amazon.com, Dicksportinggoods.com and Onepeloton.com. The recall window covers models sold between January 2018 and May 2023.
Next steps for affected Peloton owners
Peloton reports it has already sent details of how to order the free replacement seat post to the primary subscription owner for all Peloton original Bike owners in the U.S. The company has also set up a bike recall page on its website, where affected owners can get up to speed and sign up for the voluntary recall.
Owners can also request a replacement seat post or submit questions by telephone. Contact Peloton's Member Support team at 866-679-9129 from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET, 7 days a week.
Peloton asserts that owners can install the new seat post at home themselves, without requesting an official bike service call. Peloton has provided video and PDF instructions for owners to complete the repair.
Weary PTON shareholders hammered (again)
The stock market's reaction to the recall news was swift and severe. Shares in Peloton (PTON) tumbled 8.9% Thursday to hit an all-time closing low of $6.86. Peloton stock is now off more than 14% for the year-to-date, lagging the broader market by 22 percentage points.
Sadly, steep losses are nothing new to long-suffering Peloton shareholders. The pandemic-era darling has lost more than 95% of its value since hitting a record closing high of more than $167 per share back in January 2021, destroying roughly $47 billion in shareholder value along the way.
Although the recent selloff in PTON stock could theoretically offer an attractive entry point for investors, Wall Street remains somewhat cautious in its collective view. Of the 30 analysts covering PTON surveyed by S&P Global Market Intelligence, eight call it a Strong Buy, four say Buy, 16 have it at Hold, one says Sell and one slaps a rare Strong Sell recommendation on the name. That works out to a consensus recommendation of Buy, albeit with low conviction.
"The company will face headwinds over the next 12 months," writes Argus Research analyst John Staszak, who rates PTON at Hold. "In its fiscal third quarter, PTON reported a loss of 79 cents per share, wider than the consensus loss estimate of 46 cents per share. We expect further losses in their fiscal fourth quarter, reflecting supply-chain disruptions, seasonally weak demand and higher raw material and freight costs."
Staszak says the reopening of gyms and increased competition are also likely to weigh on Peloton's results.
The bottom line
If you're a Peloton bike owner, here's how to sign up for a free bike fix. If you're a current PTON shareholder, you have our condolences. If you're an outside investor, consider the stock somewhere between HOLD and a cautious BUY.
Ben Demers manages digital content and engagement at Kiplinger, informing readers through a range of personal finance articles, e-newsletters, social media, syndicated content, and videos. He is passionate about helping people lead their best lives through sound financial behavior, particularly saving money at home and avoiding scams and identity theft. Ben graduated with an M.P.S. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Vassar College. He joined Kiplinger in May 2017.
- Dan BurrowsSenior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com
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