Glazed over: Krispy Kreme rises 23.5% in Wall Street return

Investors, it turns out, were in the mood for donuts.

Shares of the Krispy Kreme chain returned to Wall Street and rose 23.5% Thursday, despite getting off to a bit of a lackluster start.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company known for its glazed doughnuts priced its initial public offering of 29.4 million shares at $17 a piece. That’s well below the $21 to $24 it was seeking. It raised $500 million and plans to use proceeds to pay down debt.

The stock trading on Nasdaq under the “DNUT” ticker symbol opened Thursday at $16.30 but then moved higher before finishing the day at $21.

The initial tepid reaction may have been an indication that Wall Street was unsure if a business selling doughnuts and coffee is the right pick when people have become increasingly health conscious.

Krispy Kreme announced in May that it was going to go public for a second time. After initially going public in 2000, the company was purchased in a $1.35 billion deal by JAB Holding in 2016 and taken private.

The chain operates in 30 countries. In the quarter that ended April 4, its revenue jumped 23% to $321.8 million, while its net loss narrowed to less than $1 million, from $10.9 million in the same period a year earlier.

The underwriters of the offering have a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 4.4 million shares at the IPO price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.

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