Publix loses 46 percent in earnings because of accounting rule change, tax rule
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets reported its fourth-quarter sales rose to $9.3 billion, a 3.8 percent increase from the $8.9 billion logged in 2017, while comparable-store sales for the three months, which ended Dec. 29, edged up 1.1 percent.
However, the grocer’s net earnings for the three months came to $407 million, versus $766.6 million in 2017, a 46.9 percent decline, and its earnings per share for the three months fell to 57 cents per share, from $1.04 in 2017.
“Our fourth-quarter results were impacted by an accounting rule change in 2018 and a one time adjustment due to the Tax Act in 2017. Excluding these items, our net earnings were strong in the fourth quarter,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones.
Excluding these factors, net earnings for the three months would have been $660.3 million, compared with $542.4 million in 2017, a 21.7 percent increase, and earnings per share for the period would have been 92 cents per share, versus 74 cents per share in 2017.
The company’s net earnings for the fiscal year were $2.4 billion, compared with $2.3 billion in 2017, a 3.9 percent increase. Earnings per share for the fiscal year increased to $3.28 per share, up from $3.04 in 2017. Net earnings and earnings per share for the fiscal year were also negatively affected by the new accounting standard, and partly offset by the Tax Act.