Net earnings advanced 7.3% to $616.2 million
Comparable store sales increased 4.8% in the second quarter. The company estimates that 1.2% of that increase was due to the fact that Easter fell in the second quarter this year and in the first quarter last year.
Net earnings were $661.1 million for the quarter, up 7.3% over the prior year period. Earnings per share increased to $0.92 per share, up from $0.84 per share in 2018. Net earnings and earnings per share were impacted by net unrealized gains on equity securities. Excluding those gains for both this year and last, net earnings for the three months ended June 29, 2019 would have been $637 million, compared to $571 million in 2018, an increase of 11.6%. Earnings per share would have been $0.89 per share, compared to $0.78 per share in 2018.
Publix’s sales for the six months ended June 29, 2019 were $19 billion, a 5.5% increase from $18 billion in 2018. Comparable store sales for the six months increased 3.3%.
Net earnings for the six months ere $1.6 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in 2018, an increase of 26.7%. Earnings per share for the six months ended June 29, 2019 increased to $2.29, up from $1.77 per share in 2018. When the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2019 and 2018 are excluded from the six month results, net earnings would have been $1.4 billion, up 8.1% over the prior year period. Earnings per share would have been $1.92 per share, compared to $1.74 per share in 2018.
The company said that it had adopted a new accounting standard in the first quarter of 2019 that changed the accounting for operating leases. The new standard required the company to recognize $2.9 billion of operating lease rights and obligations as assets and liabilities on the balance sheet.