Tax Act Stimulates Publix’s Q4 Earnings

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Tax Act Stimulates Publix’s Q4 Earnings

03/02/2018

Thanks to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Publix Super Markets’ earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017, a 13-week period, were $766.6 million, versus $544.5 million in 2016, a 40.8 percent increase, while earnings per share for the fourth quarter ballooned to $1.04 for 2017, from $0.71 per share in the year-ago period.

Excluding the legislation’s impact, net earnings would have been $542.4 million, a 0.4 percent dip, and earnings per share would have been 74 cents. Net earnings and earnings per share also were affected by the extra week in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer noted.

Publix’s sales for the fourth quarter of 2017, were $8.9 billion, a 2.1 percent decline from last year’s $9.1 billion. Excluding the extra week in the fourth quarter of 2016, sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 would have grown 5 percent, the company said, adding that comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 rose 3.2 percent.

The company’s net earnings for the fiscal year ended Dec. 30, 2017, a 52-week year, were $2.3 billion, compared with $2 billion in 53-week fiscal 2016, a 13.1 percent increase. Earnings per share rose to $3.04 for 2017, up from $2.63 per share last year. Excluding the effect of the Tax Act, net earnings would have been $2.1 billion, a 2.1 percent uptick, and earnings per share would have been $2.74, according to Publix.

Publix’s sales for fiscal 2017, were $34.6 billion, a 1.6 percent increase from last year’s $34 billion. Excluding the additional week in 2016, sales for 2017 would have risen 3.5 percent, the company said. Comps for 2017 edged up 1.7 percent.

As of March 1, Publix’s stock price rose from $36.85 per share to $41.40 per share. The company’s stock isn’t publicly traded and is sold only to current associates and members of the board of directors.

“I’m delighted we had a significant increase in our stock price,” noted Publix CEO and President Todd Jones. “I’m proud of our associate owners for their dedicated service to our customers and communities.”

In other Publix news, the grocer revealed that would raise wages for its hourly employees and some managers, although it said that any information on what the raises would be or on current wage ranges is proprietary.

“We want to continue to invest in our most valuable asset — our associates,” Dwaine Stevens told the Orlando Sentinel. “So with this investment, we will increase the retail pay range for non-management positions as well as assistant department managers and department manager positions.”

Privately owned and operated by its 190,000 employees, Publix has 1,172 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.