LAKELAND, Fla. – Publix’s net earnings for the third quarter of 2010 were $283.2 million, compared to $254.9 million in 2009, an increase of 11.1%. Earnings per share increased to $0.36 for the third quarter of 2010, up from $0.32 per share in 2009. Net earnings for the first nine months of 2010 were $996 million, compared to $877.3 million in 2009, an increase of 13.5%. Earnings per share increased to $1.27 for the first nine months of 2010, up from $1.11 per share in 2009.

Sales for the quarter were $6 billion, a 3.5% increase from last year’s $5.8 billion. Comparable-store sales for the third quarter of 2010 increased 2.7 percent. Publix’s sales for the first nine months of 2010 were $18.8 billion, a 3% increase from last year’s $18.2 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first nine months of 2010 increased 1.9 percent.

Effective Nov. 1, Publix’s stock price increased from $18.45 per share to $19.85 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 that our good operating performance and improvements in the stock market resulted in an increase in our stock price,” said Ed Crenshaw, Publix CEO. “Our associate owners continue to deliver exceptional customer service, the key to our success.”

Publix is privately owned and operated by its 144,000 employees, with 2009 sales of $24.3 billion. Currently Publix operates 1,031 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.