Publix Posts 4% Q2 Sales Gain
Even disadvantageous holiday timing couldn’t prevent Publix Super Markets from growing its second-quarter sales: The Southeast regional grocer posted sales for the three months ended June 30 of $8.8 billion, a 4 percent increase from the $8.4 billion posted in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, comparable-store sales for the three months ended June 30 edged up 1.7 percent. The company noted that sales were negatively affected by 1.2 percent because of Easter’s occurrence in the first quarter of 2018; in Publix’s fiscal 2017, the holiday fell in the second quarter.
The company’s net earnings for the three months ended June 30 were $616.2 million, versus $495.1 million in 2017, a 24.5 percent increase. Earnings per share for the three months ended June 30 rose to 84 cents from 65 cents per share last year. According to Publix, net earnings and earnings per share for the three months ended June 30 were helped by the decrease in the federal statutory income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, courtesy of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, as well as by a new accounting standard requiring equity securities to be measured at fair value, with net unrealized gains and losses from changes in the fair value recognized in earnings. Excluding the impact of the new accounting standard, net earnings would have been $571 million, a 15.3 percent increase, and earnings per share would have been 78 cents for the three months ended June 30.
The grocer’s sales for the six months ended June 30 came to $18 billion, a 5.4 percent rose from $17.1 billion last year, while comps for the period increased 3.4 percent.
Net earnings for the six months ended June 30 were $1.3 billion, compared with $1.05 billion in 2017, a 23.4 percent uptick. Earnings per share for the six months ended June 30 climbed to $1.77 from $1.37 per share in 2017. Earnings for this period were also positively affected by the Tax Act and the new accounting standard, Publix noted. Excluding the impact of the new accounting standard, net earnings would have been $1.28 billion, a 21.4 percent rise, and earnings per share would have been $1.74 for period.
As of Aug. 1, Publix’s stock price rose from $41.75 per share to $42.55 per share. The company’s stock is not publicly traded and is sold only to current associates and members of its board of directors.
“Since the beginning of the year, our stock price has increased from $36.85 to $42.55, over 15 percent,” said Todd Jones, CEO and president of Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix. “Our associates deserve the credit for continuing to make us a leader in customer service.”
Privately owned and operated by its more than 190,000 employees, Publix has 1,190 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer was No. 5 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.