Chuck E. Cheese's marketing shift paying off for shareholders

Cheese prices are up 15 cents from the beginning of September and are closing in on their highest average of the year, set in the spring.

Also, the end of the government shutdown sent Wall Street to record highs last week, and Chuck E. Cheese's hit a fresh 52-week peak accordingly. The company is "making a comeback," according to analysts, thanks in large part to a shift in marketing.

Cheese

Cheese prices jumped 6 cents last week on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.83, from $1.77 the week prior.

Prices were $1.90 in the spring.

Prices closed at $1.81 Monday, $1.82 Tuesday, $1.83 Wednesday, $1.84 Thursday and $1.85 on Friday.

Wheat

After weeks of jumping prices, wheat remained somewhat steady last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $7.50, from $7.52 the week prior.

Wheat is up about 50 cents since the end of September.

Last week, wheat closed at $7.56 Monday, $7.50 Tuesday, $7.42 Wednesday, $7.45 Thursday and $7.60 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.34, even from $3.34. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.48.

Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.67 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.53, from $3.52 last Monday. Premium gas is $3.70, from $3.69 last week.

Diesel fuel prices are averaging $3.87, from $3.87 last week. The price of diesel fuel was $3.93 a month ago and $4.12 last year.

Natural gas

Nationwide natural gas hub prices grew moderately over the report week (Oct. 2-Oct. 9). The Henry Hub spot price closed Oct. 9 at $3.70 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up 9 cents per MMBtu from the beginning of the report week.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the November 2013 contract increased 13.7 cents, from $3.542 per MMBtu Oct. 2 to $3.679 Oct. 9.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $67.39, up 39 cents from $67 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company hit a new 52-week high of $75.13 in August.

Domino's finished last week at $66.63, down from $68.36 the week prior after narrowly missing expectations for its Q3 earnings. DPZ hit a 52-week high in early October, at $69.92. Its 52-week low was $38.98 a year ago.

Papa John's finished Friday at $71.27, down slightly from $71.37 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in late September at $72.39. The company hit its 52-week low of $46.42 a year ago.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $46.74, up from $46.15 the week prior. The company hit a fresh 52-week high earlier in the week at $47.45. Its low was a year ago at $28.95.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $8 even, down from $8.16 the week prior. The company's 52-week high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $2.50 a year ago.

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