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Vera Bradley shares off to impressive start

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Shares of Vera Bradley Inc. climbed in Thursday morning trading to as high as $23.90, a nearly 50-percent increase from the company’s initial stock price.

Vera Bradley shares began trading at $16 on NASDAQ Thursday under the symbol VRA.   

The Fort Wayne-based women’s accessory retailer said in a statement that it sold 11 million shares at that price, the top end of the initial public offering’s range.

The company sells online as well as through 3,300 independent retailers and 28 of its own full-price stores. It reported profit in its latest fiscal year of $43.2 million on $288.9 million in revenue.

As IBJ.com reported Wednesday, Vera Bradley is the first Indiana-based company to go public since Carmel-based used-vehicle auctioneer KAR Auction Services Inc. raised $300 million in December.

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