Earnings growth keeps accelerating at Publix, although the company did blame a dip in company sales on a calendar shift.
Publix’s net sales for the second quarter ended June 30 were $8.8 billion, a 4 percent increase from last year’s $8.4 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.7 percent. However, the company estimates sales were negatively impacted by 1.2 percent due to the effect of the Easter holiday being in the first quarter of 2018. In 2017, the effect of the Easter holiday was in the second quarter.
Net earnings for the three months were $616.2 million, compared to $495.1 million in 2017, an increase of 24.5 percent. Earnings per share increased to $0.84, up from $0.65 per share in 2017.
Net earnings and earnings per share for the three months were positively impacted by the decrease in the federal statutory income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent effective in 2018 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Excluding the impact of the new accounting standard, net earnings would have been $571 million, an increase of 15.3 percent, and earnings per share would have been $0.78 for the three months ended June 30, 2018.
Effective Aug. 1, 2018, Publix’s stock price increased from $41.75 per share to $42.55 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix 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 Publix Chief Executive Officer & President Todd Jones. “Our associates deserve the credit for continuing to make us a leader in customer service.”
The grocery chain has recently been recognized by millennials as one of the nation’s top workplaces. Fortune surveyed more than 434,000 millennials in its "Great Place to Work" survey. Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1998, make up about 45 percent of Publix’s workforce.
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 191,000 employees, with 2017 sales of $34.6 billion. Currently, Publix has 1,188 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.