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Krispy Kreme Shares Rise 23% Despite Disappointing Pricing, Opening Trade

David Bebber | Reuters
  • Krispy Kreme made its return to the public markets on Thursday after five years away.
  • The chain priced its initial public offering at $17 per share, well below its planned range of $21 to $24 per share.
  • In fiscal 2020, Krispy Kreme's revenue rose 17% to $1.12 billion.

Krispy Kreme shares closed Thursday up more than 23% despite a disappointing opening trade for the company's return to the public markets.

On Wednesday night, the doughnut chain priced its initial public offering at $17 per share, well below its planned range of $21 to $24 per share. The stock's first trade on Thursday afternoon was $16.30 per share, but shares quickly rebounded. When the markets closed, the stock was trading for $21 a share.

The share offering raised $500 million for the company and gave it an implied valuation of $2.7 billion. Krispy Kreme, which also owns Insomnia Cookies, is trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker "DNUT."

The chain first went public 21 years ago during the dot-com bubble. In 2016, JAB Holding, the investment arm of the Reimann family, took Krispy Kreme private after buying it for $1.35 billion. JAB owns a number of other restaurant businesses, including Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee.

"The transformation that this company has done in the last five years has been incredible," Krispy Kreme CEO Mike Tattersfield said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "We've worked on our brand, we've worked on the culture."

In fiscal 2020, Krispy Kreme's revenue rose 17% to $1.12 billion, but the chain reported a net loss of $60.9 million. It has reported net losses for its last three fiscal years as it invests back into the business, such as spending $10.3 million to reopen a 24-hour flagship location in New York City's Times Square and buying back many of its franchised locations. Now, about 85% of its locations are company-owned.

Krispy Kreme's start to trading comes during the busiest week so far in 2021 for U.S. IPOs, with at least 16 other companies making their public debuts.

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