December 9, 2022

Krispy Kreme donuts go into production at the opening of the store at Harrods in London, Great Britain, 03 October 2003.

David Bebber | Reuters

Krispy Kreme’s shares rose more than 17% despite a disappointing opening trade for the company’s return to the public markets.

On Wednesday night, the donut chain pegged its IPO at $ 17 per share, well below the planned range of $ 21 to $ 24 per share. The stock’s first trading on Thursday afternoon was $ 16.30 per share, but stocks rallied quickly.

The stock offering raised the company $ 500 million and resulted in an implied valuation of $ 2.7 billion. Krispy Kreme, which also includes Insomnia Cookies, is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker “DNUT”.

The chain first went public 21 years ago during the dot-com bubble. In 2016, the Reimann family’s investment arm, JAB Holding, 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 this company has undergone over the past five years has been incredible,” said Mike Tattersfield, CEO of Krispy Kreme, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday. “We worked on our brand, we worked on the culture.”

In fiscal 2020, Krispy Kreme sales soared 17% to $ 1.12 billion, but the chain posted a net loss of $ 60.9 million. The company has reported net losses for the past three fiscal years as it reinvested in the business, such as about $ 10.3 million to reopen a 24-hour flagship location in New York City’s Times Square and buy back many its franchise locations. Around 85% of the locations are now owned by companies.

Krispy Kreme will start trading during the busiest week to date in 2021 for U.S. exchanges, with at least 16 other companies making their public debuts.