Q3 Comps Down, Net Earnings Up at Publix

Publix Super Markets, Inc. yesterday posted sales for its third quarter of 2009 of $5.83 billion, a 0.6 percent rise from last year’s $5.8 billion, but comparable-store sales for the quarter dove 4.7 percent. Net earnings for the quarter were $254.9 million, vs. $201.8 million in 2008, an increase of 26.3 percent, while earnings per share rose to 32 cent, up from 25 cents last year.

“We are pleased with the improvement in our net earnings compared to the third quarter of 2008, [but] we understand our net earnings are essentially the same as our results for the third quarters of 2006 and 2007,” noted Ed Crenshaw, CEO of Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix. “Even in these difficult times, our associates continue to deliver the excellent service our customers expect.”

Publix’s sales for the first nine months of 2009 came to $18.2 billion, a 1.8 percent rise from $17.9 billion in the year-ago period, while comps for the first nine months of 2009 fell 3.4 percent. Net earnings were $877.3 million, compared with $840.7 million last year — an increase of 4.3 percent. Earnings per share grew to $1.11 for the first nine months of 2009, up from $1.02 in 2008.
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