Publix reported a big jump in its first-quarter sales amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company reported Friday.
The regional grocery giant said its sales rose to $11.2 billion for the three months ended March 28, up from $9.7 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales increased 14.4%.
COVID-19 was declared a national emergency on March 13. Specifically, with regards to the impact of the pandemic, Publix estimated its sales for the quarter increased approximately $1 billion or 10.3%.
Net earnings fell 32% to $667.3 million. Earnings per share decreased to $0.94 per share, down from $1.37 per share in 2019. Publix said that excluding the impact of net unrealized losses on equity securities in 2020 and net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2019, net earnings quarter would have been $956.2 million, compared to $741.7 million in 2019, an increase of 28.9%. Earnings per share would have been $1.35 per share, compared to $1.04 per share in 2019.
Effective May 1, 2020, Publix’s stock price increased from $48.90 per share to $50.10 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.
“Never before have we experienced a more challenging time,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “Our associates’ efforts to serve our customers and communities have been nothing short of extraordinary. I want to thank our associates and couldn’t be more proud to serve alongside them.”