Publix’ Q1 2018 earnings up 6.8 percent over last year
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, a retailer with robust private brands and fresh-prepared offerings, reported May 1 that its sales for the first quarter of 2018 were $9.3 billion, a 6.8 percent increase from last year’s $8.7 billion, while comparable store sales for Q1 were up 5.1 percent over 2017.
The company estimates sales increased 1.2 percent due to the effect of the Easter holiday being in the first quarter of 2018. In 2017, the effect of the Easter holiday was in the second quarter.
Net earnings for the first quarter of 2018 were $680.3 million, compared to $555.3 million in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 22.5 percent. Earnings per share for the first quarter increased to 93 cents for 2018, up from 73 cents per share in the first quarter of 2017.
Net earnings and earnings per share for the first quarter of 2018 were positively impacted by the decrease in the federal statutory income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent effective in 2018 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Net earnings and earnings per share also were impacted by a new accounting standard requiring equity securities be measured at fair value with net unrealized gains and losses from changes in the fair value recognized in earnings. Excluding the impact of the new accounting standard, net earnings would have been $704.2 million, an increase of 26.8 percent, and earnings per share would have been 96 cents for the first quarter of 2018.
Effective May 1, Publix’ stock price increased from $41.40 per share to $41.75 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.
“I’m proud of our team’s results and pleased with our stock price increase considering the volatility in the stock market,” said Publix President and CEO Todd Jones in a statement.
Publix has more than 190,000 employees and 1,182 locations, adding 37 new stores in the past year.
“The expansion has come even as competitors such as Earth Fare and Lucky’s Market continue to build more stores in Central Florida,” noted an article posted May 2 on OrlandoSentinel.com.