Publix is raising wages for its hourly employees and some managers on the same week that the company received national praise for its workplace culture and reported record earnings.
Publix confirmed the wage increase to the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday, saying that the company wants "to continue to invest in our most valuable asset — our associates,” said Dwaine Stevens, a company spokesman in an email. “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.”
The Florida-based grocery chain also increased its stock price by nearly 13% to $41.40 ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings announcement Thursday, which was impressive.
“I’m delighted we had a significant increase in our stock price,” said Publix CEO & President Todd Jones. “I’m proud of our associate owners for their dedicated service to our customers and communities.”
Also on Thursday, Publix was ranked one of the top employers in the United States by job site Indeed. This ranking comes on the heels of Publix being named No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all retailers in the country.
Publix sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $8.9 billion, a 2.1% decrease from last year’s $9.1 billion, a 14-week period. Excluding the additional week in the fourth quarter of 2016, sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 would have increased 5%. Same store sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 3.2%.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $766.6 million, compared to $544.5 million in 2016, an increase of 40.8%. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter increased to $1.04 for 2017, up from $0.71 per share in 2016.
Net earnings and earnings per share were impacted by the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Excluding the impact of the Tax Act, net earnings would have been $542.4 million, a decrease of 0.4%, and earnings per share would have been $0.74. Net earnings and earnings per share also were impacted by the extra week in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Publix’s sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 30 were $34.6 billion, a 1.6% increase from last year’s $34 billion. Excluding the additional week in 2016, sales for 2017 would have increased 3.5%. Same store sales for 2017 increased 1.7%.
Net earnings for 2017 were $2.3 billion, compared to $2 billion in 2016, an increase of 13.1%. Earnings per share increased to $3.04 for 2017, up from $2.63 per share in 2016. Excluding the impact of the Tax Act, net earnings would have been $2.1 billion, an increase of 2.1%, and earnings per share would have been $2.74.