- WHITE PAPERS
It was a tough week for the balance sheets. Cheese prices continued to show no mercy last week and are near all-time highs. Wheat prices also jumped and are up more than a dollar since the beginning of the year, while gas prices have risen 21 cents in the past month.
Here's a glimpse at the market this week.
Cheese prices continued to climb last week, averaging $2.24 on the Chicago Mercantile, from $2.20 the week prior.
Cheese prices are near all-time highs. A year ago, they averaged about $1.60.
Last week, prices closed at $2.22 Monday and Tuesday, $2.23 Wednesday, $2.28 Thursday and $2.29 on Friday.
Wheat prices also jumped last week, averaging $7.15 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, from $6.66 the week prior. Wheat prices fell as low as $6.02 in January.
Last week, prices closed at $6.95 Monday, $6.90 Tuesday, $7.01 Wednesday, $7.41 Thursday and $7.52 on Friday.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
The nationwide average price for regular unleaded fuel today is $3.48, up from $3.45 the previous week. According to the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, prices a month ago were $3.27.
Last year at this time, consumers were paying $3.69 at the pump.
Today's mid-range unleaded is $3.67, from $3.64 the week prior. Premium gas is $3.83, from $3.80 the week prior.
Diesel fuel prices are averaging $4 even, matching prices from the week prior. The price of diesel fuel was $3.92 a month ago, and $4.09 a year ago.
With another wave of cold weather, natural gas spot prices rose during the report week (Feb. 26 through March 5) at most locations. The Henry Hub spot price traded yesterday at $6.41 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), a $1.57/MMBtu increase for the report week. It rose to $7.90/MMBtu on March 4, before declining March 5.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), the April 2014 contract traded March 5 at $4.523/MMBtu, a 1.3 cent decrease for the report week. The April contract took over as the front month contract on Feb. 27.
Pizza company stocks
Shares of Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed out last week at $77.29, a jump from $73.79 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 $79.19, up from $77.99 the week prior after reporting its positive year-end and Q4 results. DPZ is trading at a lifetime high, hitting $79.93 earlier last week. The company's 52-week low was $49.01, a year ago.
Papa John's shares finished last week at $53.13, up from $50.59 the week prior. PZZA hit a new 52-week high earlier in the week at $53.87. Its low of $29.50 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 $6.12, down from $6.62 the week prior. The company's 52-week-high was $9.18 in May. It traded as low as $3.40 a year ago.
Photo provided by Wikipedia.