UPDATE 4-Shake Shack IPO vaults shares into 'nosebleed' territory
* Shares rise as much as 150 pct, valuing company at nearly $2 bln
* Daniel Meyer's 21 pct stake worth about $390 mln at high
* Some other hot restaurant debuts followed by swoons (Adds investor and analyst comment, recasts lead)
By Amrutha Gayathri and Lisa Baertlein
Jan 30 (Reuters) - Shares of Shake Shack Inc more than doubled on Friday, putting a nearly $2 billion price tag on the small cult hamburger chain, in a huge bet that its growth can match top performers in the crowded "fast-casual" dining space.
Shake Shack's debut is the latest in a string of blockbuster IPOs from trendy restaurant chains that cater to younger and more affluent diners willing to pay a bit more for fresher and higher quality food. Growth-hungry investors are hoping to replicate the red-hot run of industry darling Chipotle Mexican Grill.
But Shake Shack's own CEO Randy Garutti cast doubt on whether it will do so, calling the chain known for decadent milkshakes and hormone- and antibiotic-free burgers a "very measured growth company."
Its IPO followed the successful listing two months ago of fellow premium burger seller Habit Restaurants. Other hot restaurant debuts have been followed by stock swoons, including Noodles & Co and sandwich maker Potbelly Corp .
Based on 2013 earnings, the company that grew out of a hotdog cart in New York's Madison Square Park is trading at an eye-popping price-to-earnings ratio of about 325, with each restaurant valued at about $27 million. Continued...