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Domino's, Papa John's clear winners with investors in 2019

| by S.A. Whitehead
Domino's, Papa John's clear winners with investors in 2019

Photo: iStock

When it comes to getting the biggest piece of the pie in the final year of the decade, Domino's and Papa John's clearly made out best among the four larger publicly traded U.S.-based pizza brands. Nonetheless, all the brands monitored by Pizza Marketplace have ended the year ahead from where they started.
Domino's not only was up 11 cents for the week, but also up a hefty $48.71 since the start of trading this year on the New York Stock Exchange, landing Friday at the close at $292.31. Initially, the brand hit nearly as high a peak in early February of the last year when it topped out at $290.16 and then again on Dec. 9 when it hit its highest level this year so far at $294.93.
Papa John's, the beleaguered Louisville-based brand that started the year fully mired in fallout from its founder's many struggles, was up on the Nasdaq Friday to $64.46 at the close, which is $1.17 higher from the start of trading on Monday, as well as $22.72 from the start of the year's trading when it pegged at just $41.74. Of course, all year-long investors have shown their appreciation for the company's many leadership and strategic changes by boosting their shares in the brand, culminating this final week of the year in the stock's highest price yet.
The gains were not nearly so great at the two remaining pizza stocks, beginning with Pizza Hut, which rose in September to an annual high point of $119.21, but has since dropped back to the $100-range, landing Friday at the close at $101.90. Still, it's better than the $91.46 where it started the year.
The smaller, two-chain pizza company (Pie Five and Pizza Inn), Rave Restaurant Group, Inc. finished Friday down 79 cents from its high point this past year on Nov. 4, when it closed Friday at $1.71 on the Nasdaq. That value is, however, 71 cents higher than its price going in to 2019 of just $1.


In cheese trading nationally this week, prices were up, with the weekly average and closing value for barrels came in about 5 cents higher at $1.67, while 40-pound blocks averaged and closed cents higher at $1.83, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the U.S.D.A. said that the previous holiday week brought numerous variances in the cheese industry, with some cheesemakers taking more days off this year than they have previously and others taking advantage of discounted milk spot loads in the Midwest this week.
Demand reports also showed that mozzarella and shredded cheeses are being pushed in retail markets as the football season culminates over the next weeks., but cheese markets failed to get a holiday lift. In fact, market prices slipped on Thursday, putting end-of-year cheese markets at odds with their recent bullishness.
The block price over barrel price gap on the CME — which was until recently inverse — is now growing further as both block and barrel prices decline, but barrels have slipped with unparalleled rapidity. U.S. domestic prices for parmesan, and Romano have fallen 9 cents, while other prices of foreign-type cheeses have remained the same.


Compared to last week, cash bids for wheat were steady to 10 cents higher, with wheat export sales for the week that ended on Dec. 19 showing an increase of 26.3 million bushels for 2019-20.
Kansas City U.S. No, 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid was 10 cents higher, from $5.66 1/2-$5.76 1/2 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 4 cents higher at $6.13 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 6 cents higher from $6.82 1/4-7.02 1/4 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was steady to 10 cents higher, from $5.90-$6.10 per bushel.

Auto fuel

After the American Automobile Association reported a record of more than 100 million Americans took to the roads last week in the thick of the Christmas holiday, the organization said gas prices remained largely unaffected.
The average price for a gallon of regular today came in at $2.58, up 3 cents from last week, but down a cent from last month. Mid-grade ($2.91) and premium $3.17) followed a similar trend though not as steep an increase over the week.
At $3, diesel was up just a penny from last week and down a cent from the previous month, while at $2.33, E85 was up 2 cents from the previous week, but just a cent from last month.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Delivery, Equipment & Supplies, Financial Management, Financial News, Food Cost Management, Pizza Ingredients

Companies: Pie Five Pizza Co., Rave Restaurant Group, Pizza Inn, Papa John's, Yum! Brands, Pizza Hut, Domino's

S.A. Whitehead

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 and 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.

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