Commodity food prices drop, Pizza stocks rise, Pie Five Pizza starts strong


Average block cheese prices continued to drop last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, averaging $1.77 from $1.81 the previous week.

Cheese reached its 3-month high of $2 on Nov. 15, but continues to drop on slowing demand.


Wheat prices fell again last week on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, averaging $8.43 from $8.54 the previous week. Two weeks ago, wheat was as high as $9.26. The current multi-month low is the result of a larger-than-expected grain output from China, and a positive jobs report from the U.S.

Pizza company stocks

Pizza stocks were boosted by lowering commodity prices and an upward trending stock market the past week.

Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands Inc. closed last week at $56.25, up nearly $4 from the previous week, which closed at $52.72. The company hit its 52-week high in August when shares were $56.72. Yum! traded as low as $46.40 in January.

Domino’s closed last Friday at $33.56 up from $30.51 the previous week. DPZ hit its 52-week high earlier in the day on Friday, trading at $33.81. Shares remain substantially higher over this time last year when the company traded at $14.72. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.8, above the average leisure industry P/E ratio of 22.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7

Papa John’s closed last week at $37.25, up from $35.50 the previous week. PZZA hit its 52-week high earlier in the week, at $38.18. PZZA’s 52-week low was last December when it traded at $25.83.

CEC Entertainment Inc., parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, closed out last week at $33.17, up from $32.35 the previous Friday. CEC hit its 52-week low of $27.42 in September. The company hit its 52-week high of $41.75 in July.

Pizza Inn closed at $6.28 Friday after hitting a new 52-week high of $6.60 earlier in the day. The company closed at $5.30 last Friday. PZZI traded as low as $1.88 in November 2010. Domestic same-store sales increased 2.7 percent for the first fiscal quarter compared to the prior fiscal year driven by a 3.2 percent increase in same-store sales for the buffet-style concept.

Most notable, and what I find most interesting, is the success of their new “Pie Five” concept. Pie Five offers 9′ pizzas for $6.50 baked in 5 minutes, with a target demographic of mid-to-upper income. In the first quarter of 2011, the first Pie Five Pizza Company generated $230,000 in sales and $50,000 in operating income before taxes.

About Ryan Knoll

Attorney and advisor with an interest in franchising. Feel free to email me comments and questions on the "Contact Us" page.


  1. It would be interesting to see how many of the companies that produce frozen pizzas under various formulas are doing.

    Frozen pizza has come a long way with the premium ones easily eclipsing the lower end traditional pizzerias in quality. Interestingly many are more expensive. Palmeros comes to mind as a frozen variety (in particular the 3 cheese thin crust) that delivers a superior product over many traditional establishments.

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