NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. more than doubled in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq.
The stock soared $18.14 to $36.14 in Thursday afternoon trading.
Shares of the natural and organic food store chain priced at $18 each, above the projected price range of $14 to $16 per share.
Sprouts initial public offering of 18.5 million shares includes 17.7 million shares being sold by the company and 797,785 shares being sold by certain stockholders.
The Phoenix company raised approximately $333 million in proceeds. It won't receive any proceeds from shares sold by selling stockholders.
Sprouts is also giving the offering's underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 2.8 million shares, which would generate about $50 million in additional proceeds. The chain plans to use the proceeds to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.
Sprouts, founded in 2002, runs 163 stores in eight states. It offers natural and organic products in stores that average about 27,500 square feet. The company had 2012 sales of about $2 billion and has the potential to open at least 1,200 more stores under its current format.
Sprouts is just the latest food store to become a publicly traded company. In April popular New York grocery store chain Fairway started trading on the Nasdaq. The company is well-known among New York shoppers for offering relatively low prices and cramming its shelves with a wide assortment of groceries.
Shares of Sprouts are trading under the "SFM" ticker symbol.
The offering is expected to close on Tuesday.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.