Krispy Kreme roars in 2nd IPO, adds 23% as CEO sees ‘transformed’ company

Krispy Kreme (DNUT) on Thursday began its second incarnation as a public company, and it looks like a lot of Wall Street investors want a bite…

Shares of the doughnut chain priced in at $17 on Wednesday, listing on the Nasdaq under the ticker “DNUT” and slightly below the expected range of $21 to $24. Yet the stock popped by over 23% to end the session at $21 per share, after briefly dipping to $16.30 in its market debut.

Analysts had initially seen Krispy Kreme’s valuation topping $3 billion, but the stock listing undermined some of the loftier estimates. Still, CEO Michael Tattersfield appeared to glaze over any doubts about the company’s prospects.

“We’ve been a public company once before and we are now again, we’re able to do that,” he told Yahoo Finance LIVE in¬†an interview¬†Thursday morning.

In 2016, Krispy Kreme was acquired by the consumer good investment firm JAB Holding Company for $1.35 billion. Now the 84-year-old company is returning to the public market with a valuation of $2.7 billion.

“We think the stock is worth no more than $1.6 billion, which is slightly higher than the $1.35 billion JAB Holdings paid to take Krispy Kreme private in 2016,” said David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, an investment research firm.

In a downbeat assessment, Trainer accused JAB of “looking to cash out at the expense of new investors,” adding that he doubts the newly-public company will be able to keep up with its peers.

Turning doughnuts into big cash “looks unlikely given the shift in consumer preferences toward healthier foods and the failure of its past growth strategy to achieve the economies of scale needed to operate profitably,” Trainer said.

Yet Tattersfield insisted the company has “transformed its business” since its previous run as a public company, largely by focusing on its brand and culture at large.

“We really drove an omni-channel to make doughnuts…following where the customers are,” he told Yahoo Finance, underscoring the company’s ability to boost revenue and earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation.

In fiscal 2020, Krispy Kreme brought in a net revenue of $1.1 billion, the highest level in its history. The company also sold 1.3 billion doughnuts across 30 countries in 2020.

Confident in its return to the public market, he says since Krispy Kreme was acquired, the business is…

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