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You are watching: How much is wawa stock worth

Investors don"t have many alternatives when it pertains to publicly-traded convenience stores, and also arguably, the one c-store countless would desire to invest in is Wawa -- but it remains steadfastly private. 

Yet the cult-like following the combination convenience store, sandwich shop, and gas terminal chain has arisen over the 156 years of its existence helped construct the agency into a company with end $13 exchange rate in annual revenue. If that went public, it would undoubtedly acquire institutional and retail investor support.


Image source: Wawa.

An IPO waiting to happen?

Despite firm denials, many think Wawa"s 2014 adjust from a C-corporation to a very closely held S-corporation, and the subsequent consolidation that employee-owned stock into the hand of the starting Wood family, to be a prelude to an ultimate sale that the firm or an initial windy offering.

Considering the popularity that special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have got in the previous year, if Wawa to be to go public, this might be the automobile to use.

SPACs have actually been around for decades, yet they yes, really took turn off in 2020 through 237 businesses increasing a record $80 billion and audit for the majority of IPO activity. Among the noteworthy companies using an SPAC critical year to be DraftKings, the fantasy sports and sports betting leader. C-store chain Arko Corp (NASDAQ:ARKO) also went public v the aid of one SPAC and also began trade just before last Christmas.

One of the best proponents because that SPACs has actually been former Facebook executive, management Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder the venture resources firm social Capital, who has made something of a cottage industry out that the investment vehicle.

Palihapitiya to trust SPACs empower company owners, unequal the traditional IPO route in i m sorry financial institutions control much the the decision-making process. He would certainly be a an excellent champion the Wawa"s family-controlled business, despite he prefers tech stocks and the c-store can not enough of a "big ideas" company to autumn on his radar. Still, an SPAC could be the right selection for Wawa.

A cultivation fish in a shrinking pond

There are over 150,000 convenience shop in the U.S., contempt fewer than there were at the end of 2019. The segment has felt the exact same sort the ill results from the growth of online shopping together the broader retail sector.

The biggest decline, though, was competent by single-store operators whose number contract 3.1% in 2020. Lock account for 61% of all c-stores in operation. It"s the third straight year of declines for this industry, and also the Association because that Convenience and Fuel Retailing claims the critical time the sector experienced a multiyear drop was coming the end of the good Recession in 2009 and 2010.

That makes Wawa"s purposeful, slow-growth approach to development a way strategy. Regardless of over a century that business, it has actually just 880 shop in six says (and Washington, D.C.), mainly located approximately its Wawa, Pennsylvania headquarters. Much more than 600 that the stores market gasoline, a crucial component of all c-store operations together consumers have the right to fill your vehicles while also doing fill-in shopping. In enhancement to sandwiches, Wawa sells a selection of new foods and also beverages.

Wawa is the 10th largest convenience save chain in the country, behind the likes of sector giants such together 7-Eleven, circle K, and Casey"s basic Stores (NASDAQ:CASY).

Consolidating power and also control

The chain is not without controversy, however. In 2018, without admitting guilt, it settled a lawsuit by former employees because that $25 million that accused the agency of cheating employees out of agency stock they were promised would certainly be theirs till retirement. It settled a second similar lawsuit critical summer for one more $22 million.

The lawsuits compete that by consolidating ownership and also control that the company within the lumber family, they would certainly be in a better position to offer the company or go after an IPO.

The value of Wawa"s privately-held stock has grown in value from an approximated $2,296 per share in 2009 to over $14,000 together of last year, a near-20% compound annual growth rate. In contrast, the S&P 500 has increased at a price of about 14% every year throughout that period.

Wawa denies going public is the intention with a spokesman informing The Philadelphia Inquirer last year, "To be clear, we are committed to remaining privately held and to sharing ownership with our associates v our ESOP. We believe our property structure in between the starting family and our associates is the structure of our culture and our ongoing success."

Room to grow

A steady performer prefer Wawa with a strong brand and plenty that room for development could absolutely make because that a to win stock. Probably the Woods household is correct that going windy would pressure it to focus on what wall Street wants fairly than the gradual approach the agency has taken approximately this point.

But Wawa walking public, either with a timeless IPO or via one SPAC, would also permit the convenience store"s soldier of faithful fans to benefit from the success as well.

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This article represents the opinion that the writer, who might disagree v the “official” recommendation position of a Motley premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one that our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and also make decision that assist us become smarter, happier, and also richer.
well-off Duprey has no place in any type of of the stocks mentioned. The Motley own shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley recommends Caseys basic Stores. The Motley has actually a disclosure policy.


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