Domino's, Papa John's, Chuck E. Cheese's and Pizza Inn have all experienced fresh 52-week highs on the stock market during May.
In addition to a strong overall market, analysts have attributed these performances to strong Q1 performances and international growth (for Papa John's and Domino's), an innovative new mobile app (Chuck E. Cheese's), and a new franchising strategy (Pizza Inn, for its Pie Five Pizza Co. concept).
Meanwhile, in commodities news:
Average block cheese prices fell nearly a dime last week after weeks on the rise. The average on the Chicago Mercantile was $1.77, from $1.86 the week prior.
Cheese remains lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.
Cheese markets closed at $1.80 Monday, May 12, $1.78 Tuesday, $1.75 Wednesday and $1.76 on Thursday and Friday.
After a few weeks on the rise, wheat prices tempered a bit, averaging $8.24 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.55 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 $8.57 Monday and Tuesday, $8.03 Wednesday, $8.04 Thursday and $8.03 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Nationwide average prices for regular unleaded fuel has gone up for the second week in a row after weeks of a downward trend. Today's average price is $3.66, from $3.58 last week.
According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.51. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.68 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.83, from $3.76 last week. Premium gas is $3.97, from $3.91.
Diesel fuel prices are steadier, holding at $3.88 today, compared to the same price last week. The price of diesel fuel is still down from $3.91 last month and from $3.98 a year ago at this time.
Natural gas spot and futures prices generally increased at most trading locations during the report week (May 8 –May 15). The Henry Hub spot price increased from $3.86 per MMBtu May 8 to $4.03 per MMBtu May 15.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the price of the near-month (June 2013) natural gas futures contract increased from $3.978 per MMBtu May 8 to $4.070 per MMBtu May 15.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $70.16, up from $69.07 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 finished at $57.57 last week, from $57.66 the week prior. Domino's hit another 52-week high last week at $59.00. Its low was in June at $28.17. This is the third week in a row DPZ has turned in a fresh 52-week high. Analysts attribute better-than-expected Q1 results, international expansions, increasing global demand and effective pricing.
Papa John's closed last week at $65.71, up slightly from $65.54 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high two weeks ago at $66.85. 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 $39.12, up from $37.86 last week and from $32.94 two weeks ago. CEC hit a new 52-week high of $40.09 earlier last week, riding a positive earnings report. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $5.91, down a bit from $6.03 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high two weeks ago, at $9.18, after announcing a new franchise plan. The company traded as low as $2.18 in June.
Read more supply chain and commodities news.
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.