Customer service credited for bolstering Publix’s Q3

Publix credited its customer service for helping fuel third-quarter sale sales of $7 billion, a 5.6% increase from last year’s $6.7 billion. Comparable-store sales for the third quarter of 2013 increased 4.1%.

The company reported net earnings for the quarter of $359.9 million, a decrease of 2.3% from $368.4 million in 2012. Earnings per share for the third quarter decreased to $0.46 for 2013, down from $0.47 per share in 2012.

Publix’s stock price increased from $27.55 per share to $30 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 very pleased we had another significant increase in our stock price, resulting in a 33% increase in our stock price over the last year,” said CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Our associates continue to deliver premier customer service, the key to our success.”

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 162,000 employees. The company currently operates 1,076 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.