Today was one of the most delicious and mouth watering days for NASDAQ, the world's second largest stock exchange.
The NASDAQ OMX Group announced the commencement of stock trading of Potbelly Corporation (ticker symbol:PBPB), a rapidly expanding fast food and sandwich company.
Potbelly Corporation's journey began in 1977 on Chicago's North Side when a young couple who owned an antique shop started serving hot meals to their prospective customers with live music to match. The sandwich business was such a hit that its fame spread far and wide and eventually caught the attention of Bryant Keil, a maverick businessman. Keil bought the original store on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, and began replicating the success across the United States.
Potbelly's business has now grown into more than 288 shops (including 7 franchises) across 18 states and even District of Columbia where your local Congressman or Senator can enjoy the warm, delicious sandwiches during government shutdown. In addition, Potbelly is spreading the love with 12 outlets across Middle-East, where American bombs may not be very popular but American sandwiches are a sure hit.
At 9.15 a.m. today Potbelly's CEO, Aylwin Lewis, rang the bell in celebration of its IPO at 4 Times Square on 43rd & Broadway in New York. Immediately following the IPO, cash rich and profit hungry investors caused Potbelly's stock price to more than double, closing at $30.77.
The IPO raised $105 million — beyond company expectations. In the IPO, 7.5 million shares priced at $14 each were released from the company, while early investors sold about 150,000 shares. In 2012, Potbelly's net profit was $13.6 million on revenue of $274.9 million.
"We are pleased to welcome Potbelly Corporation to the NASDAQ OMX family, and we are looking forward to celebrating many milestones with the company and its shareholders," said Nelson Griggs, Senior Vice President, Corporate Client Group, NASDAQ OMX.
NASDAQ OMX boasts listing of as many as two-thirds of all public restaurant companies on U.S. exchanges, including Potbelly's larger competitors such as Noodles & Company [NDLS], Bloomin' Brands [BLMN] and Del Frisco's Restaurant Group [DFRG].
Potbelly wants to be known as that quintessential neighborhood sandwich shop, where mouth watering menu, attractive locally-themed décor and live, local music combine to create a warm, inviting, social atmosphere. Potbelly's menu includes toasted sandwiches, soups and salads, shakes, malts and smoothies, as well as fresh baked cookies and ice-cream sandwiches prepared daily.[images from twitter and yahoo finance]