Pizza companies take a hit after Federal Reserve move

After weeks on the rise, public pizza companies took a hit along with the rest of the market last week, after the Federal Reserve announced it would stop buying bonds. Cheese and wheat remain stable, while gas prices continue to fall after hitting a pre-summer peak.

Cheese

Average block cheese prices remained relatively stable last week, dropping a penny to $1.72 on the Chicago Mercantile.

Cheese was $1.90 on May 1. It remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.

Cheese markets closed at $1.71 Monday and $1.72 on Tuesday through Friday.

Wheat

Average wheat prices also dropped a penny, averaging $8.08 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.09 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 on Monday, $7.99 Tuesday, $8.13 Wednesday, and $8.14 Thursday and Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.56, down a nickel from $3.61 last week.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.64. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.42 at the pump.

Monday's mid-range unleaded is $3.74, from $3.79 last week. Premium gas is $3.90, from $3.94 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are $3.84, down a penny from $3.85 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.88 a month ago, and $3.71 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas hub prices increased in most areas during the report week (June 12 to June 19). The Henry Hub spot price closed June 19 at $3.93 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu), up 19 cents from $3.74 the previous week.

At the Nymex, futures prices also increased over the week. The near-month contract (July 2013) rose from $3.777 per MMBtu to $3.963 per MMBtu June 19.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $68.98, a drop from $71.61 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 closed out last week down to $57.50, from $60.02 the week prior. Last week was DPZ's first week the company did not refresh its 52-week high in nearly two months. Its 52-week high is $61.24, from two weeks ago. Its low was $28.92 a year ago.

Papa John's closed last week at $64.16, from $66.53 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high two weeks ago at $67.22. 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 $39.50, from $41.50 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week high earlier last week at $42.43. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $5.15, down slightly from $5.17 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high in May, at $9.18, after announcing a new franchise plan. The company traded as low as $2.20 a year ago.

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