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Noodles & Company IPO Draws Oodles of Interest

The innovative restaurant chain doubles on its debut


Fast-casual restaurant chain Noodles & Company (NDLS) apparently just left a lot of money on the table.

Following last night’s pricing at $18 per share, which was above its $15 to $17 range, NDLS shot up another 104% in Friday trading. Still, the deal — whose lead underwriters included Morgan Stanley (MS) and UBS Investment Bank (UBS) — raised about $96.4 million.

Noodles’ motto is “A World of Flavors Under One Roof,” a nod to its cuisine that spans 25 different Asian, Mediterranean and American foods.

Launched in 1995, the chain has grown at a rapid clip by offering low-priced meals (with an average ticket of $8), and has expanded to 288 locations across 25 states. NDLS’ revenues surged from $170 million to $300 million between 2008 and 2012, and income from operations climbed from $2 million to $16 million.

Both its CEO and COO can claim time at Chipotle (CMG) on their resume, as both worked there between 2000 and 2005. However, whether Noodles’ stock will be the next CMG remains to be seen.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO StrategiesAll About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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