Potbelly sandwich maker shares double in Nasdaq debut

Potbelly extends the winning streak for foodies going public. Shares of sandwich maker Potbelly more than doubled in their Nasdaq trading debut Friday.

Keith Bedford/Reuters
Potbelly Corporation Chief Executive Aylwin Lewis speaks before the company's IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, October 4. Potbelly Corp shares more than doubled in their debut as investors rushed to grab a piece of the sandwich maker whose low-priced menus have appealed to consumers in a tough economy.

Shares of sandwich maker Potbelly more than doubled in their Nasdaq trading debut Friday.

Potbelly extends the winning streak for foodies going public. In August natural and organic food store chain Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. more than doubled on its launch. Restaurant chain Noodles & Co.'s stock also more than doubled in its June debut.

Potbelly's stock soared $18.90 to $32.90 in morning trading.

The company priced its initial public offering of 7.5 million shares at $14 per share, above the projected range of $12 to $13 each.

Potbelly Corp. raised $105 million in the offering, which is targeted to close Wednesday.

The Chicago company is selling about 7.3 million shares, while certain stockholders are selling 150,131 shares. The company won't receive any proceeds from the shares sold by the selling stockholders.

Potbelly is giving the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 1.1 million shares.

The company said in a regulatory filing that it plans to use net proceeds to pay a previously declared dividend; to pay off debt and for working capital.

Potbelly began in 1977 as a small antique store in Chicago. The original owner started offering sandwiches and homemade desserts to customers in an effort to boost sales.

As of September, the company had 288 sandwich shops in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Its franchisees have seven shops in the U.S. and 12 in the Middle East.

In 2012, Potbelly reported net income available to common stockholders of $13.6 million on revenue of $274.9 million.

Its shares are trading under the "PBPB" ticker symbol.

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