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GrubHub soars over 49% on initial NYSE debut

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Shares of online food delivery and takeout platform GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB) -- the owner of Seamless.com and Menupages.com -- surged on its initial debut on the New York Stock Exchange, rising more than 49% Friday morning.

The company, which connects 28,800 local restaurants with diners in more than 600 cities across the U.S., priced its IPO at $26 a share, above the elevated range of $23 to $25 a share, giving it a market cap of $2.04 billion. 

Its stock rose more than 49.4% in early deals today, last up at $38.85 in New York. 

GrubHub upsized its initial offering to 7.4 million shares from the original 7.03 million, raising a more than expected $192 million.

The company makes its money by charging a commission from the 28,800 restaurants it connects in cities from San Francisco to London when a customer places a takeout or delivery order through one of its websites. 

GrubHub is the product of a merger last year between the profitable Seamless North America LLC, which spun out of Aramark Holdings in 2012, and the upstart younger GrubHub

The company posted a 67% increase in revenue in 2013, to $137 million, but its $2 billion valuation is still about 15 times last year's revenue. According to Bloomberg, e-commerce companies typically trade at an average of 2.5 times 2013 sales, while Internet services companies trade at over 6 times. 

GrubHub is poised to follow the path of other Internet and tech IPOs so far this year, which all popped on the first day of trading. But so far, shares of the 16 Internet and tech IPOs in 2014 are up only a scant 0.3% from where they opened in their trading debuts, according to research from Dealogic. 

The online food delivery company's profit has also been dropping, earning $15 million in 2011, down to roughly $6 million in 2013, despite sharply higher sales. 

Quick facts: GrubHub Inc

Price: 71.04 USD

NYSE:GRUB
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $6.59 billion
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