Teavana shares soar in trading debut

(Reuters) - Shares of specialty tea retailer Teavana Holdings Inc <TEA.N> surged as much as 73 percent on their trading debut on Thursday, as investors gravitate toward specialty consumer foods.

On Wednesday, the company priced its initial public offering of 7.1 million shares at $17 a share, above its previously expected range.

At its current price, the company is valued at about $1.1 billion.

Teavana was founded in 1997 and has 161 stores in 35 states and 19 franchised stores primarily in Mexico. It plans to open about 50 stores in fiscal 2011.

Shares of the company were up 67 percent from their IPO price, at $28.40 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Brenton Cordeiro and Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)