Pizza stock trading was mixed last week: Domino's took a major leap in price, while Papa John's suffered an equally significant drop in its stock value . But there was good news for both brands in the largely lower commodity prices on most critical supplies, including that increasingly important delivery-enabling commodity, auto fuel.
Cheese prices continued their upward trend, with an average price of $1.76 at the end of the business week Friday, up two cents from the previous Friday's closing price.
Compared with last week, wheat was about 24 cents lower. The Missouri Department of Agriculture Market News Service said that weekly and annual export sales could be viewed as bullish overall.
Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 18 3/4 to 28 3/4 cents lower, at $4.44 1/4 to $5.54 1/4 per bushel. Kansas City U.S. No. 2 Soft Red winter rail bid was not quoted.
St. Louis truck U.S. No. 2 Soft Red Winter terminal bid was 25 to 34 cents lower, at $4 to $4.11 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 24 1/2 to 29 1/2 cents lower, at $7.10 1/2 to $7.15 1/2 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was 9 1/4 cents lower to 3 cents higher, at $5.15 3/4 to $5.45 per bushel.
Gasoline and diesel fuel
Pizza operators heard something that's been missing for a while — the sound of pocket change back from their fuel purchases, as the average cost of this commodity continued to fall last week.
Prices for regular and mid-grade fuel are down almost 20 cents from last month's per-gallon average, and premium is slightly lower, however, diesel is higher, according to market data this morning.
Operators will pay an average of $2.49 today for regular, down 18 cents from last month. At $2.78 this morning, compared with $2.92 last month, mid-grade is also down in price. Still, both grades are substantially more expensive than they were last year at this time.
Premium was also down from last month, at $3.03, about a 13 cent drop. However, diesel fuel bucked the downward trend with an average price this morning of $2.73, up two cents from last month's price of $2.71 and up 34 cents from last year's price of $2.39.
Prices mostly decreased for the reporting week (Wednesday, Sept. 27, to Wednesday, Oct. 4), with the Henry Hub spot price down 14 cents from $2.95/MMBtu last Wednesday to $2.81/MMBtu yesterday.
The week-over-week average Henry Hub price also decreased 14 cents. Temperatures throughout most of the Lower 48 states averaged much lower over this report week compared with the previous report week.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the October 2017 contract price expired last Wednesday at $2.974/MMBtu. The November 2017 contract price decreased to $2.940/MMBtu, down 12 cents, Wednesday to Wednesday.
Net injections to working gas totaled 42 billion cubic feet for the week ending Sept. 29. Working natural gas stocks are 3,508 Bcf, 4 percent less than the year-ago level and about equal to the five-year (2012 to 2016) average for this week.
The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, fell 20 cents, averaging $7.82/MMBtu for the week ending Oct. 4. The price of natural gasoline and ethane each fell 2 percent, and propane, butane, and isobutane each fell 3 percent.
According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Friday, Sept. 29, the natural gas rig count decreased by one, to 189. The number of oil-directed rigs rose by six, to 750. The total rig count increased by five, and it now stands at 940.
Pizza company stocks
Domino's last Friday closed at $205.39, up $5.78 from the $198.61 the previous week. Pizza Hut parent Yum Brands also took a jump — though nowhere near as steep as Domino's — with a closing price of $75.93 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, up from $73.60 at the previous week's close.
For Papa John's International Inc., it was a painful week, with shares ending Friday at $69.96, down $3.12 from the previous week's close of $73.08. The trend for Papa Murphy's was also downward, though not as steeply. The brand closed the week at $5.87, down four cents from $5.91 the previous week.
Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.