Last week's earnings reports for both Domino's and Papa John's were positive enough to send both companies' shares into lifetime-high territory.
Among their executives' themes on the earnings calls was how they can leverage their scale to navigate high cheese prices better than smaller players. That said, cheese jumped back up last week and are near all-time highs. Here's a glimpse at the market this week.
After two weeks of stability, cheese prices jumped back up last week, averaging $2.20, from $2.12 the week prior.
Cheese prices are near all-time highs. A year ago, they averaged about $1.60.
Last week, prices closed at $2.18 Monday, $2.19 Tuesday, $2.21 Wednesday, and $2.22 Thursday and Friday.
Wheat prices fell 11 cents last week, averaging $6.66 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $6.77 the week prior. Wheat prices fell as low as $6.02 in January.
Last week, prices closed at $6.62 Monday, $6.74 Tuesday, $6.70 Wednesday, $6.55 Thursday, and $6.70 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.45, up from $3.41 the previous week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.28.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.75 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.64, up from $3.60 the week prior.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $4 even, from $3.99 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.89 a month ago, and $4.12 a year ago.
Natural gas spot prices generally increased during most of the report week, but fell sharply on Feb. 25 and 26. The Henry Hub spot price closed down at $4.84/MMBtu on Feb. 26, $1.13/MMBtu below the previous Wednesday's price. Prices at major Northern population centers increased more consistently throughout the report period.
Prices at the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) fell on Feb. 24 despite increasingly cold weather, after increasing during most of the first half of the report week (Feb. 19-26). The March contract price began Feb. 19 at $6.149/MMBtu and settled Feb. 26 at $4.855/MMBtu with the expiration of the March contract.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $73.79, up from $72.98 the week prior. The company hit a new 52-week high in November, at $78.68. Its 52-week low was a year ago at $63.16.
Domino's finished last week at $77.99, a big jump from $72.26 the week prior after reporting its positive year-end and Q4 results. According to The Street, DPZ is trading at a lifetime high. Earlier in the week, it hit $79.40. Its 52-week low was $47.94 a year ago.
Papa John's shares finished last week at $50.59, also up big from $47.75 after a positive earnings report. PZZA hit a new all-time high earlier in the week at $52.35. Its low of $26.58 was a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, has been delisted from the NYSE following its sale to Apollo Global Management LLC.
Pizza Inn Holdings closed out last week at $6.62, up from $6.38 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.03 a year ago.
Photo provided by Wikimedia.
Alicia Kelso has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.