The crazy chicken is flapping its wings and flying high on Wall Street.
El Pollo Loco(LOCO), the California-based restaurant chain specializing in Mexican-style grilled chicken, went public Friday and shares surged nearly 30% to above $19 in their first few minutes of trading.
El Pollo Loco — which trades under the symbol “LOCO” — priced its initial public offering at $15 per share late Thursday, the high end of the expected range. The company raised $107 million from the sale of 7.1 million shares of common stock.
Based in California, El Pollo Loco has 401 company-owned and franchise locations in five U.S. states, including Texas and Arizona. But the vast majority of its restaurants are in the Golden State.
Shares tanked 80% Friday — their first day of trading following a suspension by the Securities and Exchange Commission two weeks ago. The SEC cited “concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of information in the marketplace and potentially manipulative transactions in CYNK’s common stock.”
The company grabbed headlines earlier this month when its meteoric rise from a mere six cents per share to $21 gave it a market value of $5 billion, which is more than well-known brands such as Domino’s Pizza(DPZ) and GameStop(GME).
Nine times out of 10, pharmacists and doctors will buy the generic version of aspirin, rather than a brand-name like Bayer. Likewise, professional chefs prefer store-brand sugar, salt and baking powder instead of brand name ingredients.
Their research estimates Americans are wasting about $44 billion a year on name brands, when they could be buying the exact same products if they switched to cheaper store brands. Store brand products cost on average about half the price of national brands.
Several factors are contributing to the rise in cocoa futures, including aging cocoa trees in West Africa, which is the source of about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa.Additionally, chocolate consumption in Asia, especially in China, was up 7 percent in 2013 and is projected to rise more this year.
Cocoa futures have gotten investors’ attention, especially as earnings season has kicked into high gear. Investors are watching consumer companies that use cocoa as a raw ingredient, trying to gauge how they are managing costs in order to protect the bottom line. Hershey’s last week announced an 8 percent price hike due to higher raw material costs, passing part of its burden onto consumers. And this week, Mars Chocolate North America, the maker of MM’s and Snickers, announced an average 7 percent price hike, its