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IPO Buffet: Potbelly And Other Hot New Stocks On The Menu

Vadim Parkansky, Kapitall: Forget Twitter – there’s a buffet of other new publicly traded companies that may be worth a look.

While many investors’ eyes were glued to Twitter’s (TWTR) IPO two weeks ago, there’s been a range of other companies that have gone public in recent weeks. Do they deserve a spot in your portfolio?

Read more from Kapitall about the Twitter IPO: 5 Hot Stocks to Watch Instead

One that could whet your appetite for risk is Potbelly (PBPB).

The Chicago-based sandwich chain went public in October and last week reported its first quarterly earnings as a public company. While Potbelly reported that net income ( the bottom line) decreased from $2.5 million during the same quarter last year to $2.1 million, their revenue ( the top line) increased from $69.9 million to $77.9 million.

Now that Potbelly is public, can the company take on and outperform larger publicly traded lunchtime players like Chipotle (CMG) and Panera Bread (PNRA)?

Before you answer that, consider that Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Shultz is an early investor in the company, and its largest, with a 20% stake.

Potbelly President and CEO Aylwin Lewis recently said that Starbucks is a "really strong inspiration" and declared that the ultimate goal for Potbelly is to "be a global iconic brand."

"We’re promising double-digit growth for the foreseeable future," Lewis said. "We are 300 units and there’s so much white space in the US for us to grow. And so we’re going to bring Potbelly to as many neighborhoods in the US as possible."

Sounds great, but with its relatively high price-to-earnings ratio, the quarterly heat is on for Potbelly to execute its geographic expansion in a way that continues to balance top line growth with bottom line control.

Read more from Kapitall: Missed Connections: Will Chinese IPOs Continue to Seek Out New York?

Another newly public restaurant brand under similar scrutiny is Noodles & Co. (NDLS). Noodles went public over the summer and now has two public quarterly earnings reports under its belt. 

Click on the interactive chart below to see price data for Potbelly and Noodles & Co. over time.

Hungry for more? Check out the interactive list below to start researching Potbelly and other newly public companies.

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