Public pizza companies riding 52-week highs in May

Domino's, Papa John's, Chuck E. Cheese's and Pizza Inn have all experienced fresh 52-week highs on the stock market during May.

In addition to a strong overall market, analysts have attributed these performances to strong Q1 performances and international growth (for Papa John's and Domino's), an innovative new mobile app (Chuck E. Cheese's), and a new franchising strategy (Pizza Inn, for its Pie Five Pizza Co. concept).

Meanwhile, in commodities news:

Cheese

Average block cheese prices fell nearly a dime last week after weeks on the rise. The average on the Chicago Mercantile was $1.77, from $1.86 the week prior.

Cheese remains lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.

Cheese markets closed at $1.80 Monday, May 12, $1.78 Tuesday, $1.75 Wednesday and $1.76 on Thursday and Friday.

Wheat

After a few weeks on the rise, wheat prices tempered a bit, averaging $8.24 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.55 the week prior.

Wheat averaged $7.81 in early April. Prices averaged $9.13 at the end of 2012. Prices during the mid-summer 2012 averaged $7.49, before the drought kicked in.

Last week, wheat closed at $8.57 Monday and Tuesday, $8.03 Wednesday, $8.04 Thursday and $8.03 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Nationwide average prices for regular unleaded fuel has gone up for the second week in a row after weeks of a downward trend. Today's average price is $3.66, from $3.58 last week.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.51. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.68 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.83, from $3.76 last week. Premium gas is $3.97, from $3.91.

Diesel fuel prices are steadier, holding at $3.88 today, compared to the same price last week. The price of diesel fuel is still down from $3.91 last month and from $3.98 a year ago at this time.

Natural gas

Natural gas spot and futures prices generally increased at most trading locations during the report week (May 8 –May 15). The Henry Hub spot price increased from $3.86 per MMBtu May 8 to $4.03 per MMBtu May 15.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the near-month (June 2013) natural gas futures contract increased from $3.978 per MMBtu May 8 to $4.070 per MMBtu May 15.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $70.16, up from $69.07 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.

Domino's finished at $57.57 last week, from $57.66 the week prior. Domino's hit another 52-week high last week at $59.00. Its low was in June at $28.17. This is the third week in a row DPZ has turned in a fresh 52-week high. Analysts attribute better-than-expected Q1 results, international expansions, increasing global demand and effective pricing.

Papa John's closed last week at $65.71, up slightly from $65.54 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high two weeks ago at $66.85. The company hit its 52-week low of $45.19 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $39.12, up from $37.86 last week and from $32.94 two weeks ago. CEC hit a new 52-week high of $40.09 earlier last week, riding a positive earnings report. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $5.91, down a bit from $6.03 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high two weeks ago, at $9.18, after announcing a new franchise plan. The company traded as low as $2.18 in June.

Read more supply chain and commodities news.

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