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    Publix Q1 Sales and Earnings Up; Comps Gain 3.6 Percent

    The grocer's sales jumped 6 percent to $6.2 billion, but its stock price slipped by $1.25.

    Publix Super Markets said last week that its sales for the first quarter of 2008 reached $6.2 billion, a 6 percent increase from last year's $5.9 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of 2008 were up 3.6 percent.

    The Lakeland, Fla.-based retailer's stock price slipped $1.25, however, to $19.45 per share from $20.70. 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 c.e.o. Ed Crenshaw said the culprit was the hit that the stock market has taken in recent months. While his associates "continue to deliver strong operating performance," he said, "Unfortunately, the stock market has suffered from the many challenges facing our economy."

    Net earnings for the first quarter were $343.2 million, compared to $317.6 million in 2007, an increase of 8.1 percent. Earnings per share were $0.41, compared to $0.38 in 2007.

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