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Portillo's Stock Cookin' After Chicago Restaurant Chain's IPO

Shares of Portillo's, which started as a hot-dog stand and now operates 67 restaurants in nine states, jumped after the Chicago chain went public.
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Shares of Portillo's, PTLO which started almost 60 years ago as a hot-dog stand and now operates 67 restaurants in nine states, jumped on Thursday after the Chicago chain went public.

The shares closed their first day of regular trading up 46% at $29.10. They'd traded up as much as 59% at $31.87.

On Wednesday the company priced an initial public offering of 20.3 million shares at $20, raising $406 million.

The underwriters -- led by Jefferies, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Securities and Piper Sandler -- also have an option on 3 million more shares.

The company says that in 1963, "Dick Portillo invested $1,100 into a small trailer to open the first Portillo's hot dog stand in Villa Park, Illinois, which he called The Dog House."

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Portillo's restaurants are located in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Besides the restaurants, which serve hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers and more, the company operates Portillo's Home Kitchen, a catering business.

In the first half, Portillo's swung to net income of $13.9 million from a loss of $733,000 in the year-earlier first half. Revenue rose 19% to $258 million from $217.3 million.

"Our restaurants are designed to provide speed and convenience across multiple sales channels including drive-thru, dine-in, carryout/curbside, delivery and catering," the company says. "We also serve guests outside our footprint through our website for direct shipping."

The risk factors the company lists in its Securities and Exchange Commission S-1 filing include the potential impact of the Covid pandemic. During the lockdowns the company -- like many peers -- closed or limited its dining rooms but continued to operate drive-through and delivery.

In addition, it notes that consumers change their preferences, food-cost inflation can hurt the bottom line, supply-chain issues can render some food items unavailable, and opening new restaurants in new markets is a risky proposition for restaurant chains.