LAKELAND, Fla. – Publix’s net earnings for the second quarter of 2010 were $348.4 million, compared to $300.8 million in 2009, an increase of 15.8%. Earnings per share increased to $0.44 for the second quarter of 2010, up from $0.38 per share in 2009. Net earnings for the first half of 2010 were $712.8 million, compared to $622.3 million in 2009, an increase of 14.5%. Earnings per share increased to $0.91 for the first half of 2010, up from $0.79 per share in 2009.

Second-quarter sales were $6.2 billion, a 3.4% increase from last year’s $6 billion. Comparable-store sales for the second quarter of 2010 increased 2.4%. Sales for the first half of 2010 were $12.7 billion, a 2.7% increase from last year’s $12.4 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first half of 2010 increased 1.6%.

Effective Aug. 1, Publix’s stock price decreased from $18.50 per share to $18.45 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 proud that our Publix associates delivered strong operating results,” said Ed Crenshaw, Publix chief executive officer. “Unfortunately, these results were not enough to offset the continuing challenges in the stock market.”

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 142,000 employees, with 2009 sales of $24.3 billion. It operates 1,020 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.