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Publix posted improved sales and earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014, which led to a "significant increase in our stock price," according to CEO Ed Crenshaw.
The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer posted $7.9 billion in Q4 sales, a 6.9 percent increase from last year's $7.4 billion. Comparable-store sales for Q4 increased 6.4 percent.
Publix Q4 net earnings were $453.3 million, up 7.4 percent from the $422 million in the year-ago period. Earnings per share increased to $0.58 for 2014, up from $0.54 in 2013.
For the full fiscal year ended Dec. 27, 2014, Publix posted $30.6 billion in sales - up 5.7 percent from last year – and comps increased 5.4 percent for 2014. Net earnings for 2014 were $1.74 billion, compared to $1.65 billion for 2013, an increase of 4.9 percent. Earnings per share increased to $2.23 for 2014, up from $2.12 last year.
“Our associates — the owners of Publix — continue to deliver exceptional customer service, the key to our success," Crenshaw said, noting the rise in the grocer's stock from $33.80 per share to $39.05, effective March 1.
Publix operates 1,097 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina.