Wall Street has been very good to public pizza companies as of late, with Domino's, Papa John's and Chuck E. Cheese's turning in fresh 52-week highs last week. The peak marked Domino's seventh consecutive week of achieving a 52-week high.
Meanwhile, in other commodities news:
Average block cheese prices rose a penny to $1.73 last week on the Chicago Mercantile, from $1.72 the week prior. Cheese was $1.90 on May 1. Cheese remains significantly lower than the $2.10 average at the end of 2012.
Cheese markets closed at $1.75 Monday and Tuesday, $1.73 Wednesday, and $1.72 on Thursday and Friday.
Average wheat prices dropped a dime to $8.09 last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $8.19 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 $8.11 Monday, $8.15 Tuesday, $8.06 Wednesday, $8.12 Thursday and $8.04 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel is $3.61, down from $3.63 last week.
According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.64. Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.50 at the pump.
Monday's mid-range unleaded is $3.79, from $3.81 last week. Premium gas is $3.94, from $3.96 last week.
Diesel fuel prices are $3.85, even from $3.85 the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.88 a month ago, and $3.77 a year ago.
Natural gas hub prices declined in most regions this week (June 5-June 12). The Henry Hub closed at $3.74 per million British thermal units yesterday, down 25 cents, or 6.3 percent, for the week.
At the Nymex, the near-month (July) Nymex contract finished trading June 12 at $3.777 per MMBtu, 22.4 cents, or 5.6 percent, below its previous Wednesday close.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $71.61, up a bit from $71.12 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 closed out last week at $60.02, up from $59.45 the week prior. Domino's hit another 52-week high last week, at $61.24, the company's seventh consecutive week turning in new highs. Its low was a year ago, at $28.73. Analysts attribute the 52-week highs to better-than-expected Q1 results, international expansions, increasing global demand and effective pricing.
Papa John's closed last week at $66.53, up from $65.30 the week prior. PZZA turned in a new 52-week high earlier last week at 67.22. 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 $41.50, up from $40.39 the week prior. CEC hit a new 52-week high earlier in the week at $42.35. The company's 52-week low was in August at $28.23.
Pizza Inn closed out last week at $5.17, up from $4.95 the week prior. PZZI hit a new 52-week high in May, at $9.18, after announcing a new franchise plan. The company traded as low as $2.20 a year ago.
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Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.