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US: Publix Posts Smaller Q1 Comps Increase as Earnings Surge

Source: Progressive Grocer

Publix Super Markets has reported sales for the three months ended March 30 of $9.7 billion, a 4.3 percent increase from the $9.3 billion logged in 2018. Comparable-store sales for the three months ended March 30 edged up 1.9 percent, 1.2 percent lower than the year-ago period, however, which the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer attributed to the effect of the Easter holiday being in the second quarter in 2019 and in the first quarter in 2018.

Meanwhile, the company’s net earnings for the three months ended March 30 were $981 million, versus $680.3 million in 2018, a 44.2 percent rise, and its earnings per share for the three months ended March 30 grew to $1.37 per share, up from 93 cents in the year-ago period.

According to Publix, net earnings and earnings per share were affected by net unrealized gains and losses on equity securities. Excluding these impacts, net earnings for the three months ended March 30 would have been $741.7 million, compared with $704.2 million in 2018, a 5.3 percent increase, while earnings per share would have been $1.04 per share, versus 96 cents per share last year, the company noted.

Effective May 1, Publix’s stock price rose from $42.85 per share to $44.75. The company’s stock is not publicly traded and is sold only to current Publix employees and members of its board of directors.

“I’m proud of our results and pleased with our stock price increase,” noted Publix CEO Todd Jones. “I want to thank our associates for delivering premier customer service that makes shopping at Publix a pleasure.”

Operating 1,215 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vriginia, Publix is No. 5 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 list of the top grocers in the United States.

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