Pizza companies benefit from stock market peak

May 6, 2013 | by Alicia Kelso

Cheese prices jumped again and are up 20 cents from the beginning of April. Wheat prices also climbed nearly a quarter in a week and are up about 60 cents in the past month.

Public pizza companies had a great week, with many riding positive earnings reports on top of the Dow's highest close in history.


Average block cheese prices continued to climb on the Chicago Mercantile, averaging $1.89 last week, from $1.86 the week prior.

Cheese is up 20 cents from the beginning of April; however it remains lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.

Cheese markets closed at $1.86 Monday, $1.88 Tuesday, $1.90 Wednesday and Thursday and $1.91 on Friday.


Wheat prices jumped nearly a quarter last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $8.40, from $8.16 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 $8.31 Monday, $8.37 Tuesday, $8.30 Wednesday, $8.44 Thursday and $8.58 on Friday.

Gasoline and diesel fuel

After months on the decline, today's nationwide average for regular unleaded fuel is $3.52, up 2 cents from $3.50 last week.

According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.61. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.78 at the pump.

Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.69, from $3.67 last week. Premium gas is $3.85, from $3.83 last week.

Diesel fuel prices averaged $3.87, a slight drop from $3.88 last week. The price of diesel fuel is down from $4 last month and from $4.08 a year ago.

Natural gas

Natural gas prices rose following declines earlier in the report week (April 24-May 1), except at Algonquin Citygate. The Henry Hub closed at $4.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) May 1, up 5 cents and 1.2 percent for the week, after declining to $4.16 per MMBtu on April 26.

At the NYMEX, the May 2013 contract also declined through April 26, to $4.152 per MMBtu. It then traded up 5.8 percent to $4.392 per MMBtu on April 29, its final day of trading. The near-month (June) NYMEX contract finished trading yesterday at $4.326 per MMBtu, 3 cents above the Henry Hub spot price.

Pizza company stocks

Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $68.08, up from $67.20 the week prior. Yum's 52-week low was in early February at $59.68. The company's 52-week high was $74.75 in November.

Domino's climbed to $55.49 on Friday, up from $51.92 the week prior after a strong Q1 earnings report. Domino's hit a fresh 52-week high on Tuesday at $56.45. Its low was in June at $28.17.

Papa John's closed last week at $64.34, up from $62.16 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high earlier in the day at $65.86. 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 $32.94, up slightly from $32.77 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week high of $38.83 earlier in the day on Friday after a positive earnings report. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.

Pizza Inn closed out last week at $7.37, up from $7.14 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high on Monday, $8.23, after announcing the opening of its first franchised Pie Five unit. The company traded as low as $2.18 in June.

Read more supply chain and commodities news.

Topics: Cheese , Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza , Domino's Pizza , Equipment & Supplies , Operations Management , Papa John's , Pizza Hut , Pizza Inn

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with, and has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, and Franchise Asia magazine.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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