Peloton selloff continues as 'Sex and the City' reboot adds to exercise company's image issues

Peloton Interactive’s stock move Friday came with a spoiler alert.

The connected fitness company’s Bike drove a key plot point in the reboot of “Sex and the City” on HBO Max, and the company’s reaction to the news raised questions among investors about its handling of its image.

In addition, Peloton received a ratings downgrade Friday that stoked ongoing concerns about weakening demand for its products. Credit Suisse analyst Kaumil Gajrawala cut the company’s price target by more than half, from $112.00 to $50, as he changed the stock’s rating from outperform to neutral.

Shares of the company hit a 52-week low of $37.67 in trading Friday, and ended the day down 5.4% at $38.51. On Thursday, shares fell 11%. That was the same day as the debut of “And Just Like That ... ,” the latest iteration in the “Sex and the City” franchise, with the first episode featuring a dramatic scene involving Peloton’s Bike.

Peloton’s stock is down nearly 75% for the year, giving it a market value of about $12.6 billion.

Peloton was widely seen as a pandemic winner last year, along with home improvement companies and streaming services. As people stayed at home and skipped the gym, they bought equipment and set up their own home fitness studios. That backdrop has changed as people have gotten Covid vaccines and started to resume old habits.

As sales have slowed, the company reduced the price of its original Bike by hundreds of dollars and ramped up marketing efforts. It also faced regulatory scrutiny and announced a voluntary recall of its treadmills in May, after reports of one death and dozens of injuries.

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