Publix sales soar amid pandemic; stock price jumps
Publix’s sales in the first half of the year increased an estimated $2.5 billion due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grocer’s sales for the three months ended June 27, rose 21.8% to $11.4 billion, up from $9.3 billion in the year-ago period. (Publix estimated sales in the second quarter increased about $1.5 billion because of the pandemic, or 16.1%, due to the impact of the pandemic.).
Net earnings for the quarter were $1.4 billion, compared to $661.1 million in 2019, an increase of 106.8%. Earnings per share increased to $1.94 per share, up from $0.92 per share in 2019.
Net earnings and earnings per share were impacted by net unrealized gains on equity securities. Excluding their impact, net earnings would have been $978.3 million, compared to $637 million in 2019, an increase of 53.6%. Earnings per share would have been $1.39 per share, compared to $0.89 per share in 2019.
Publix’s sales for the six months ended June 27, were $22.6 billion, an 18.9% increase from $19 billion in 2019. Comparable store sales for the period increased 17.1%.
The company estimates its sales for the six months ended June 27, 2020 increased approximately $2.5 billion or 13.1% due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Net earnings for the six months ended June 27, 2020 were $2 billion, compared to $1.6 billion in 2019, an increase of 23.9%. Excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2020 and 2019, net earnings for the six months ended June 27, 2020 would have been $1.9 billion, compared to $1.4 billion in 2019, an increase of 40.3%.
Effective Aug. 1, 2020, Publix’s stock price increased from $50.10 per share to $54.35 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.
Publix noted that it offered two months of rent relief to businesses affected by the pandemic in the shopping centers it owns. And in an initiative to support farmers and families across the Southwest, the company has purchased and donated more than 5 million pounds of produce and 350,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America member food banks throughout the company’s operating area. In addition to purchasing produce from Florida farmers, Publix is now buying produce from farmers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and will add farmers from Tennessee and Virginia in the coming weeks.
Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S., currently operates 1,252 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.