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Restaurant chain Noodles & Co shares double in debut

Restaurant chain Noodles & Co shares double in debut

Restaurant chain Noodles & Co shares double in debut

Shares of fast casual restaurant chain operator Noodles & Co (NDLS.O) more than doubled in their market debut, valuing the company known for its Pad Thai and Mac & Cheese dishes at as much as $1.07 billion.

Noodles shares were up nearly 96 percent at $35.20 in late morning trading on the Nasdaq on Friday. They rose as much as 121 percent to $39.70, and ended the day at $36.75.

The initial public offering, the first from any restaurant this year, was a blockbuster despite a volatile market that has led several companies to cut the size of their IPOs or scrap them altogether.

The whole sector has done well last year and it is growing incredibly,” said Francis Gaskins, a partner at IPO research company, told Reuters.

Restaurant stocks that have gone public in the last year have done well. Outback steakhouse operator Bloomin’ Brands Inc (BLMN.O)’s stock has more than doubled since its debut last August.

Chuy’s Tex Mex restaurant operator Chuy’s Holdings Inc (CHUY.O) stock has tripled in value, while Steakhouse operator Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Inc (DFRG.O) has risen 67 percent since their debut in July 2012.

Noodles, which advertises under the slogan “A world of flavors under one roof,” said its revenue jumped about 76 percent to $300 million between 2008 and 2012. Net income from operations grew seven-fold to $16 million. The company’s long-term debt stood at $93.7 million, as of January.

“It has good visible top line growth and investors are starved for that kind of growth which is profitable,” Gaskins said.

The Broomfield, Colorado-based restaurant operator, known for its signature dish Truffle Mac or “fancy pants,” is looking to tap growing fast food demand among young diners.