Bloomberg: Publix, Royal Ahold may both make bid for Harris Teeter
NEW YORK — Publix may join Royal Ahold later this month in making a bid for the more than 200 Harris Teeter supermarkets, according to a report published Friday by Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
Virginia and North Carolina would represent new markets for Publix if the Florida-based grocer acquired Harris Teeter. Publix has already marked North Carolina for expansion with plans to open two stores in the state in 2014.
Neither Ahold nor Publix has made an offer, but first-round bids aren’t due until mid-March or later, Bloomberg reported. Bloomberg had pegged Harris Teeter’s market value at $2 billion in earlier reports, but noting that grocery companies typically sell at 7x to 10x EBITDA, that valuation today could be as high as $3.1 billion.
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Hy-Vee buys stake in store-construction joint venture
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee is taking over a construction company that builds its stores and related facilities, the supermarket chain said Friday.
Hy-Vee said it would buy the Weitz Co.’s interest in Hy-Vee Weitz Construction, a joint venture it entered in 1995 to complete Hy-Vee construction projects more efficiently and economically. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The partnership between Hy-Vee and the Weitz Co. has been very successful and rewarding for both companies over the last 17 years," Hy-Vee president, chairman and CEO Randy Edeker said. "As we approach the end of our original operating agreement, it presents us with an opportunity to expand with our own in-house construction management group."
The company will be renamed Hy-Vee Construction and retain its current headquarters and employees, including president Brad Strehlow.
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Publix posts same-store sales increase of 2.2% for fiscal 2012
LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix on Friday recorded fiscal 2012 sales of $27.5 billion, up 1.9%. However, 2012 year-end sales included a 52-week period, versus 2011 year-end sales that were tracked over a 53-week period. Excluding that extra week, sales for 2012 would have been up by 3.8%. Same-store sales were up 2.2% for the year.
“I’m pleased with the improvement in our operating results for 2012, a 52-week year, as compared with 2011, a 53-week year,” stated Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “As a result of our associates’ efforts, our stock price reached a new all-time high after considering stock splits.”
Net earnings for 2012, a 52-week year, were $1.6 billion, a 4% increase. Earnings per share increased to $1.98 for 2012, up from $1.90 per share in 2011.
Publix’s sales for the fourth quarter of 2012, a 13-week period, were $7 billion, a 3.6% decrease from last year’s $7.2 billion, a 14-week period. Excluding the additional week in the fourth quarter of 2011, sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 would have increased by 3.4%. Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased 1.2%.
Effective March 1, 2013, Publix’s stock price increased $0.70 from $22.50 per share to $23.20 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.
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