- WHITE PAPERS
Cheese and wheat prices both inched back up last week, while gas prices continued to slide. Pizza Inn hit a fresh 52-week-high after announcing a new franchising agreement to expand the chain's new fast casual pizza concept, Pie Five, to the Kansas City, Mo., market.
Average block cheese prices averaged $1.80 last week on the Chicago Mercantile, a 9-cent jump from the week prior and up nearly a quarter from last month.
Cheese remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average toward the end of 2012.
Cheese markets closed at $1.78 Monday, $1.79 Tuesday, $1.80 Wednesday, $1.82 Thursday and $1.83 on Friday.
Wheat prices inched back up last week, averaging $7.95, after turning in their lowest prices in months the week prior, with an average of $7.81. According to the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, wheat has been below $8 just three times since mid-summer.
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 $7.99 Monday and Tuesday, $7.84 Wednesday, $7.89 Thursday and $8.07 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
After months on an upswing, gas prices slid downward for the fourth week in a row. Today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.52, down from $3.59 last week.
According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.68. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.90 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.69, from $3.76 last week. Premium gas is $3.85 from $3.92 last week.
Diesel fuel prices averaged $3.95, a small drop from $3.99 last week. The price of diesel fuel is also down from $4.06 last month and from $4.14 a year ago.
Both spot and futures prices increased during the report week (April 3 to April 10). The Henry Hub spot price increased from $4.00 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) to $4.07 per MMBtu.
Mirroring movements in the spot price, the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) near-month (May 2013) futures price increased from $3.900 per MMBtu April 3 to $4.085 per MMBtu April 10.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $67.23, from $67.73 the week prior. The company's 52-week low was in early February of $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.
Domino's closed last Friday at $52.11, a slight gain from $51.22 the week prior. DPZ is riding a strong Q4 earnings report which led to a fresh 52-week-high of $52.91 last week. Shares in June were traded at $28.17.
Papa John's closed last week at $61.47, a decrease from $61.76 the Friday prior. PZZA also turned in a new 52-week high on April 2 at $62.41. The company hit its 52-week low of $37.56 a year ago.
CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $32.54, up from $32.09 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week high of $39.36 two weeks ago after a new mobile app launch. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $5.99, a big jump from $4.37 the week prior after announcing new franchising agreements. PZZI hit its 52-week high of $6.23 earlier in the day on Friday and traded as low as $2.18 in June.
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