Publix Q3 sales jump 18.3%; stock price increases

Marianne Wilson
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Publix storefront

Publix Super Markets’ net and comparable sales surged in its third quarter, once again fueled by coronavirus-triggered demand.

Publix’s sales rose 18.3% to $11.1 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 26. Comparable store sales increased 16.5%. The grocer estimated that its sales for the quarter increased approximately $1.25 billion, or 13.4%, due to the impact of the pandemic.

Net earnings jumped 59.9% to $917.6 million, compared to $574 million in year-ago period. Earnings per share increased to $1.31, up from $0.81 per share in 2019. 

Excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2020 and net unrealized losses on equity securities in 2019, net earnings for the three months ended Sept. 26, 2020 would have been $836.2 million, compared to $580.3 million in 2019, an increase of 44.1%. Earnings per share would have been $1.20 per share, compared to $0.81 per share in 2019.

Publix’s sales for the nine months ended Sept. 26, 2020 were $33.7 billion, an 18.7% increase from $28.4 billion in 2019. Comparable store sales for the nine months increased 16.9%. The company estimates its sales for period have increased approximately $3.75 billion or 13.2% due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Effective Nov. 1, 2020, Publix’s stock price increased from $54.35 per share to $57.95 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.)

“Our associates’ efforts to serve our customers, our communities and each other during this challenging time continues to be extraordinary,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and dedication.”

Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S., currently operates 1,253 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.