Shares of Zoe’s Kitchen Inc. rose nearly 64.8 percent Friday as the fast-casual operator became the restaurant industry’s first initial public offering of 2014.

Plano, Texas-based Zoe’s priced its offering at $15 each for 5.8 million shares. It closed at $24.72 at 4 p.m. EDT. Share volume was 5.6 million for the day, with the stock trading in a range of $23.73 and $26.14.

Zoe’s debuted with the ticker symbol “ZOES” on the New York Stock Exchange in a turbulent market, with stock indexes measurably down. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 2.2 percent and the Nasdaq fell 2.6 percent.

The stock is being watched as several other restaurant brands consider public offerings.

In mid-March, Vancouver, Wash.-based Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. filed for an IPO with the goal of raising $70 million. Papa Murphy’s has 1,418 Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza units in 38 states, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

Other restaurant brands rumored to be considering IPOs this year include Salt Lake City-based Café Rio Inc. and Denver-based Smashburger.

Founded in 1995 by Zoë and Marcus Cassimus in Birmingham, Ala., Zoe’s Kitchen is owned primarily by private-equity firm Brentwood Associates, which acquired the concept in 2007. As of Feb. 24, Zoës Kitchen had 111 units in 15 states. The menu is Mediterranean-themed with a Southern twist.

According to SEC filings, Zoe’s Kitchen had revenues of $116.4 million for the Dec. 30-ended 2013 fiscal year, compared with $79.7 million in the prior year. Average unit volumes were near $1.5 million. Same-store sales in 2013 increased 6.9 percent compared with the prior year, lapping a 13.4-percent increase in same-store sales in 2012.

Jefferies LLC, Piper Jaffray & Co. and Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. acted as joint book-running managers for the offering. William Blair & Co. LLC, Stephens Inc. and Stifel acted as co-managers.

This story has been revised to reflect the following update:

Update: April 11, 2014
  This story has been updated with market-close prices and volume.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
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