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Originally published Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:16 AM

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Pinnacle Foods rises in 1st day of trading

Shares of Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes and Vlasic pickles, jumped 11 percent in their first day of trading as a public company.

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK —

Shares of Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes and Vlasic pickles, jumped 11 percent in their first day of trading as a public company.

The company's stock priced at $20 per share and closed at $22.21. The shares priced at the high end of their expected range of $18 to $20 per share, which suggested healthy demand from investors.

Pinnacle Foods Inc. raised $580 million in an initial public offering of 29 million shares. The banks managing the deal may buy another 4.4 million shares to sell, increasing the proceeds for Pinnacle Foods.

The Parsippany, N.J., company plans to use proceeds to lower its debt but will still carry about $2.1 billion in debt.

Moody's Investors Service put Pinnacle's ratings on review for an upgrade, as the successful IPO could help lower its debt levels. The rating agency currently has assigned Pinnacle a "B2" corporate family rating, which puts it in the middle of junk-grade territory.

Pinnacle Foods, which says its products can be found in 85 percent of all U.S. households, reported revenue of $2.48 billion in 2012 and net income of about $52.6 million. Between 2008 and 2012, the company reported sales growth of 59 percent.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group LP bought Pinnacle Foods in 2007, and still owns about 70 percent of the company following the IPO.

Shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the "PF" ticker.

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