It may not seem nice to compare anything to gold when the shiny yellow metal is plunging, but everyone knows that gold is valuable on good days or bad. Laird Super Food Inc. (NYSE: LSF) was another initial public offering making a big splash in the market on Wednesday. The firm priced its 2.65 million shares at $22 apiece, at the high end of its expected price range of $21 to $22. However, the stock actually entered the market at $33.55, vastly outpacing the original pricing.
This is an emerging consumer products platform focused on manufacturing and marketing highly differentiated plant-based and functional foods. The Laird Superfood brand is increasingly recognized and trusted by a growing number of consumers, and the company was co-founded by surfing legend Laird Hamilton.
The core pillars of the Laird Superfood platform are currently Superfood Creamer coffee creamers, Hydrate hydration products and beverage enhancing supplements, and roasted and instant coffees, teas and hot chocolate.
Although these plant-based alternatives are more for beverages, it does fill an important role in the plant-based industry. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods already dominate the plant-based meat alternatives. While Laird Superfoods may not directly compete in these areas, it still provides an interesting play to this trend.
The company’s net sales have grown from $568,000 in 2016 to $13.1 million in 2019 and $11.1 million in the first six months of 2020, representing an annualized compound annual growth rate of approximately 185%. During the same period, gross margins have expanded from 24.8% in 2016 to 38.8% in 2019 and 31.0% in the first six months of 2020.
Laird Superfood intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes. The underwriters for the offering are Canaccord Genuity, Craig-Hallum Capital Group and Roth Capital Partners.
Companies that are run by athletes and celebrities have a mixed track record when it comes to long-term success. One issue that is not going to be hard to predict is that Hamilton already has a strong head start using his celebrity platform to keep driving new customers to buy Laird Superfood products. He might not even have to spend that much marketing it either.
Laird Superfood stock traded up 75% to $38.59, in a range of $31.00 to $44.00 on the day thus far. As of 1:45 p.m. Eastern, about 1.5 million shares had moved on the day.