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Sprouts Farmers Market Prices IPO Above Expected Range (SFM)

Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ: SFM) priced its IPO at $18 per share–well above the expected range of $14 to $16 per share. It will open for trading Thursday morning.

Sprouts Farmers Market joins the growing upscale grocery store space which includes companies like Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM), Kroger (NYSE: KR) and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE: NGVC).

According to Investors Business Daily, the company sells fresh produce, bulk foods, meat and seafood, dairy, frozen foods, vitamins, body care, and natural household items.

If past supermarket IPOs are any guide, Sprouts Farmers Market could do well on its opening day. On its first day in November of 2010, Fresh Market (NASDAQ: TFM) rose 46 percent.

The company started in San Diego as a fruit stand in 1943. The first Sprouts was opened in Arizona in 2002. Apollo Global Management later purchased a controlling interest in the name.

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Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the company mentioned.

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