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Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), which operates over 160 natural and organic grocery stores in eight southwestern states, soared nearly 123% in its market debut on Thursday, beating out Noodles & Company (NASDAQ:NDLS) for the best first-day gain of 2013. The company raised $333 million after pricing well above its initial price range. Sprouts' opening day represents the best first-day return for a U.S. IPO since Qihoo 360 Technology (NYSE:QIHU) gained 134% on March 30, 2011, and marks the first U.S.-based company to gain over 120% since NYMEX went public in November 2006. Sprouts is the fourth natural grocer to go public in the last four years, following the successful IPOs of Fairway Markets (FWM; up 92% from its IPO price), Natural Grocers (NGVC; 139%) and The Fresh Market (TFM; 145%).

Company Ticker Business Deal Size

($mm)

First-Day

Return

Total

Return

Qihoo 360 Technology QIHU Chinese internet security products $176 134% 349%
Sprouts Farmers Market SFM Value-priced natural grocer $333 123% 123%
LinkedIn LNKD Online professional network $353 109% 353%
Splunk SPLK Data analysis software $230 109% 194%
Noodles & Company NDLS Fast-casual restaurant chain $96 104% 141%

Source: Sprouts Pops 123% In Market Debut, Best First-Day Return Since March 2011