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Papa John's price passes $60 for 1st time in 19 months after leadership changes

| by S.A. Whitehead
Papa John's price passes $60 for 1st time in 19 months after leadership changes

Logo: Papa John's

On the heels of a major leadership housecleaning last week that saw Papa John's move to replace its CFO, CMO and chief operating and growth officer, traders said a strong message of affirmation, bolstering the stock's price over the $60 mark for the first time since April of 2018, to end up $5.89 Friday when it closed on the Nasdaq at $61.76. 

Meantime, its larger competitor, Domino's Pizza Inc., also scored a healthy bounce in value, closing Friday on the New York Stock Exchange at $280.66, an improvement in price of $11.38 over the week. 

Life was not as upbeat for Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands, Inc., which again dropped down in value to close Friday at $98.90, down 75 cents from the previous week. The same was the case for a new fourth brand Pizza Marketplace will begin monitoring in the commodities report weekly, Pizza Inn and Pie Five parent, Rave Restaurant Group, which closed Friday at $2.56, which was down 4 cents on the week. 


On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last week, the average for barrels was up 8 cents, at $2.35, while blocks were off a nickel at $2.11 on average for the week. Barrels closed at $2.33, while 40-pound blocks closed Friday at $2.02, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Market News Service.  

Cheese production is increasing nationally, according to the U.S.D.A., with increasing milk availability giving some additional days to the cheese-making schedule. Barrel makers have continue to relay strong demand, while curd, cheddar and other types of cheese-makers are experiencing varying demand conditions. 

Barrel prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange neared their all-time high early in the week, but saw some correction later in the week. 


Cash bids for wheat last week were higher, with wheat export sales showing an increase of 13.2 million bushels for 2019-20. Prices last week ranged from 5 cents lower to 39 cents higher, according to the U.S.D.A.

Kansas City U.S. No. 1 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein rail bid, was 7 cents higher, from $5.29 3/4-$5.39 3/4 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 39 cents higher at $5.42 per bushel. Minneapolis and Duluth U.S. No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, 14.0 to 14.5 percent protein rail, was 9 3/4 to 14 3/4 cents higher at $7.08 3/4 per bushel. Portland U.S. Soft White wheat rail was steady to 5 cents lower, from $5.95-$6 per bushel.

Vehicle fuel

For the sixth straight week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that that total domestic stocks of gasoline decreased to 217.2 million bbl, which is 10.8 million bbl lower than last year's level at this time. Collectively, those lower levels along with strong demand in the U.S. pushed the national gas price average higher last week. As a result, over the course of the week the price average for a gallon on unleaded regular pushed up 2 cents to $2.62 today. 

The prices paid for mid-grade ($2.96) and premium ($3.22) were about a cent higher on the week, but still three cents lower than what we were paying last month, according to the American Automobile Association. 

The prices we paid for diesel and E85 failed to follow those trends however, as the price paid for a gallon of diesel last week ($3.01) was flat with a week ago and a penny higher than last month, while the price for E85 ($2.33) was up two cents from the previous week and flat with the price from one month ago. 

Natural gas

Natural gas spot prices rose at most locations the most recent report week, ending on Wednesday, Nov. 6, with the Henry Hub spot price rising from $2.67/MMBtu to $2.78/MMBtu over the seven days. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the price of the December 2019 contract increased 14 cents, from $2.691/MMBtu last to $2.828/MMBtu. The price of the 12-month strip, averaging December 2019 through November 2020 futures contracts, climbed 7 cents/MMBtu to $2.567/MMBtu, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Working natural gas stocks are 3,729 Bcf, which is 17% more than the year-ago level and 1% more than the five-year (2014-18) average for this week. The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 36 cents/MMBtu, averaging $5.65/MMBtu for the week ending Nov. 6. The price of propane, ethane, butane, and isobutane rose by 10%, 9%, 9% and 6%, respectively. The price of natural gasoline remained flat week over week.

According to Baker Hughes, for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 29, the natural gas rig count decreased by three to 130. The number of oil-directed rigs fell by five to 691. The total rig count decreased by eight, and it now stands at 822.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Financial Management, Financial News, Pizza Ingredients, Trends / Statistics

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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