Publix Q1 delivers higher stock price

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Strong earnings and sales growth in the first quarter helped drive up Publix's stock price.

Publix’s sales for the first quarter of 2011 were $6.8 billion, a 4.4% increase from last year’s $6.5 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first quarter of 2011 increased 2.8%.

Net earnings for the first quarter of 2011 were $398.2 million, compared with $364.4 million in 2010, an increase of 9.3%. Earnings per share for the first quarter increased to 51 cents for 2011, up from 47 cents per share in 2010.

Effective May 1, Publix’s stock price increased from $20.90 per share to $21.65 per share, the company reported. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

“Although the economy continues to be weak, I’m pleased our strong operating performance resulted in another increase in our stock price,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Our Publix associates continue to make us a leader in our industry.”