Domino’s first-quarter results might have missed the mark slightly last week, but investors didn’t seem to mind.
As the $28.6 billion worth of tax-free federal grant money known as the Federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund officially becomes available today, the U.S. Department of Commerce is reporting that nationally people are spending again, including in restaurants. That’s making all restaurant commodities into very hot items these days as pizzerias and other categories of foodservice concepts work to keep up with demand.
In fact, one of the biggest commodity needs of all right now might be the flesh-and-blood workers so direly needed to prepare and deliver restaurant food to customers. As Domino’s CEO Richard Allison told the Wall Street Journal this weekend, the demand for the brand’s pies and its corresponding demand for delivery people has Domino’s working to grow the numbers of deliveries each of its drivers make per hour, resulting in higher overall pay.
That Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza powerhouse also managed to leap forward in value last week on Wall Street, where it gained $24.63 on the week to close Friday at $422.34. Not bad for a restaurant company that also turned in financial results last week that fell slightly short of what analysts had predicted, as previously reported on Pizza Marketplace.
Domino’s main competitors also gained in value in trading last week, though not nearly as much. Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John’s ticked up $1.88 over the week to end up at the close April 30 at $96.72. Also Louisville-based, Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands added $1.80 in value across all the buying and selling to close Friday at $119.52.
In fact, Pizza Inn and Pie Five parent, Rave Restaurant Group, was the only publicly traded pizza brand in the U.S. last week to have recorded a small loss. The brand closed Friday down a cent at $1.34.
Cheese trended higher in Chicago trading last week, with the weekly average for barrels adding 2 cents to $1.81, while blocks added a penny to come in at $1.80 as a weekly average price. On Friday, barrels closed at $1.84, while 40-pound blocks were at $1.80, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Cheesemakers continue to report a bountiful milk supply, while foodservice sales maintained strength when compared to most of the past year. Nonetheless, the U.S.D.A. reports that demand for cheese overall has begun to level off across the market as many customers have refilled their supplies.
In wheat trading nationally, prices rose modestly, with July Chicago soft red winter wheat adding 6 cents to $7.35. At the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, July spring wheat futures bounded forward more than 20 cents to $7.65.
In Kansas City, July hard red winter futures picked up 9 cents to land at nearly $7.04.
Over the course of the last business week, the American Automobile Association said the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline remained $2.88, even as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 100,000 barrels (bbl) to 235.1 million bbl.
Simultaneously, demand dropped from 9.1 million barrels per day (b/d) to 8.88 million b/d. AAA said the continued growth in total domestic supply, amid a reduction in demand, will likely help to keep pump prices in check at least through the start of this week.
Nationally the biggest changes in gas prices took place in Delaware (up 5 cents), as well as Maryland, Utah, Washington, Nevada, Montana and California (all up 4 cents). This morning the national average for a gallon of regular was $2.90, up one cent on the week and three cents on the month. Mid-grade ($3.23) and premium ($3.51) were flat and up 2 cents, respectively, while diesel was up a penny from the prior week but down a cent from the previous month, at $3.09. E85 clocked in at $2.46, flat with the prior week, but 2 cents lower than last month.
Natural gas spot prices rose in most regions for the last report week that ended April 29, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The net injections to working gas totaled 15 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending April 23. Working natural gas stocks totaled 1,898 Bcf, which is 14% lower than the year-ago level and 2% lower than the five-year (2016–2020) average for the period.
The natural gas plant liquids composite price at Mont Belvieu, Texas, rose by 21 cents per million British thermal units (MMBtu), averaging $7.07/MMBtu for the period. The average weekly price of natural gasoline fell by 1%, while ethane increased 5%. Prices of propane, butane and isobutane rose by 3%, 5%, and 5%, respectively.