Organizational wonderland The Container Store likes to say it has the "elfa advantage" because it is the only retailer in the U.S. with rights to the customizeable elfa organizational products. But will Container Store stock also see the elfa advantage in its stock market debut?
If early trading action is any indication, the answer to that question is a definite yes: the stock nearly doubled its price at the open, trading for $35 per share.
The retailer began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today under the ticker TCS. Expectations were high for a great first day of trading: last night, The Container Store set its IPO price at $18 per share, higher than the originally-expected range of $14 to $16 per share.
Anthony Chukumba, BB&T Capital Markets managing director and senior equity research analyst, told CNBC that The Container Store is a "category killer" and noted that there’s no other retailer doing what they’re doing.
The company is offering all 12.5 million shares of common stock, with an additional 1.9 million shares 30-day purchase option for the underwriters. The joint book-running managers of the offering are JP Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Securities and Jefferies; Guggenheim Securities is acting as co-manager.
According to its S-1, The Container Store has 62 stores with an average size of approximately 19,000 selling square feet in 22 states and the District of Columbia. The company says it has seen 13 consecutive fiscal quarters of positive sales growth; in the six months ending on August 31, its adjusted earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization was $32.7 million with an adjusted EBIDTA margin of 12.4 percent for fiscal-year 2012.
As for those elfa products, which The Container Store says is its highest gross margin department, fiscal year 2012 sales were $114 million, 23 percent of TCS net sales. Additionally, the elfa® Custom Design Center net sales saw an average ticket of $583.01 in 2012, compared to an average ticket for all TCS segments $57.34.
Consumer-friendly retailers have done well in market debuts this year: sandwich shop Potbelly saw 119 percent growth in its first day on the market, organic grocery store Sprouts Farmers Markets debuted in July to nearly-123 percent first-day pop and noodle retailer Noodles & Co. debuted in June and saw a 104 percent gain its first day on the market.
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