When asked whether Domino's Pizza or Google had a higher return for investors since their 2004 IPOs, most people would likely say the tech giant with the world's most visited website.
But Domino's, including its dividends, would have netted you a higher return.
If you had invested $1,000 in Domino's when it went public on July 13, 2004, that investment would be worth more than $56,000 as of last Thursday, according to CNBC calculations. Its share price on Tuesday was hovering around $374.
CNBC: Domino's stock as of Feb. 2020.
As for Google, a $1,000 investment made at IPO, on Aug. 19, 2004, would be worth more than $35,000 as of last Thursday. Its current share price was hovering around $1,426.
CNBC: Google stock as of Feb. 2020.
Other than the fact that people clearly love pizza, this data shows that companies don't necessarily have to dominate a trendy industry to have a top-traded stock.
Last week, Domino's reported its fourth-quarter earnings with news that it had beaten Wall Street expectations. As a result, its shares soared 25% that day.
But Domino's hasn't always been doing well. In 2009, the company received so many poor reviews over its menu items that it decided to overhaul its business model. "Microwave pizza is far superior" and "Domino's tastes like cardboard" are just a few of the critical remarks customers made. As part of its "Domino's Pizza Turnaround" campaign, the company heavily publicized the improvements it made to its recipe.
Following this brand revamp, Domino's saw its stock gain more than 2,000% from 2010 to 2017. It also outperformed big-name companies during that period, including Amazon, Apple and Netflix.
Today, Domino's has managed to stay successful even in the face of heavy competition. As a pizza delivery service, it's had to keep up with ever-growing pressure from others in the delivery space, such as UberEats and DoorDash. Despite the pressure, Domino's grew its U.S. same-store sales by 3.4% during Q4, beating the 2.3% Wall Street expected.
In an effort to keep up with its delivery rivals, Domino's is working to expand its carryout sales and shorten delivery times by adding more U.S. restaurant locations. Additionally, the pizza company aims to encourage customers to make their pizza orders online or via its app. That way, it can target consumers with promotions that will incentivize them to spend more when ordering.
Domino's CEO Ritch Allison announced during Thursday's Q4 earnings call that the pizza chain will introduce new menu items this summer as a way to boost profits.
While both Domino's and Google's shares have done well over the years, it's important to note that any individual stock can over- or under-perform, and past returns do not predict future results.
If you are thinking about getting into investing, experts often advise starting with index funds, which hold every stock in an index, such as the S&P 500. Seasoned investor Warren Buffett agrees that it's a smart place to begin, in part because they fluctuate with the market, making them less risky than individually selected stocks.
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