Pandemic Powers Publix’s Q2, Stock Price

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Pandemic Powers Publix’s Q2, Stock Price

By Bridget Goldschmidt - 08/03/2020
Pandemic Powers Publix’s Q2, Stock Price
Along with other food retailers, Publix was designated an essential business during the coronavirus pandemic.

Aided by the coronavirus pandemic, during which it was classified as an essential business, Publix reported sales for the three months ended June 27 of $11.4 billion, a 21.8% increase from the $9.3 billion posted in 2019. Comparable-store sales for the three months ended June 27 grew 19.9%. The company estimated that its sales for the three months ended June 27 rose about $1.5 billion, or 16.1%, due to the impact of COVID-19.

Net earnings for the three months ended June 27 were $1.4 billion, versus $661.1 million in 2019, a 106.8% increase. Earnings per share for the three months ended June 27 grew $1.94 per share, up from 92 cents per share in the year-ago period. Net earnings and earnings per share were affected by net unrealized gains on equity securities, according to Publix. Excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2020 and 2019, net earnings for the three months ended June 27 would have been $978.3 million, compared with $637 million last year, a 53.6% rise. Earnings per share would have been $1.39 per share, versus 89 cents per share in 2019.

Publix’s sales for the six months ended June 27 were $22.6 billion, an 18.9% increase from the $19 billion logged in 2019. Comps for the six months ended June 27 rose 17.1%. Publix estimated that its sales for the six-month period rose about $2.5 billion or 13.1%, because of the impact of the pandemic.

Net earnings for the six months ended June 27 were $2 billion, from $1.6 billion in 2019, a 23.9% rise. Earnings per share for the six months ended June 27 grew to $2.89 per share, up from $2.29 per share in the year-ago period. Net earnings and earnings per share were affected by net unrealized gains on equity securities, Publix noted. Excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2020 and 2019, net earnings for the six months ended June 27 would have been $1.9 billion, compared with $1.4 billion in 2019, a 40.3% increase, while earnings per share would have been $2.74 per share, versus $1.92 per share in 2019.

As of Aug. 1, Publix’s stock price had risen from $50.10 per share to $54.35 per share. The company’s stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix employees and members of its board of directors.

“Our associates’ efforts to serve our customers and communities have been remarkable,” noted Publix CEO Todd Jones. “I want to thank our associates for the comfort they bring to our customers and their fellow associates during this difficult time. It is heartwarming to see how much they care.”

For Q1 2020, the food retailer estimated that $1 billion of its $11.2 billion growth, or 10.3%, was due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, with 1,239 locations in the Southeast, is No. 12 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top grocers in the United States.

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