LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here said net earnings improved by 1.7% on a 2.7% sales gain for the second quarter. However, comparable-store sales decreased by 2.6%. Publix’s stock, which is not publicly traded and available only to directors and employees, was increased by 50 cents a share to $16.05. “Although the economy continues to be weak, I’m pleased with the improvement in our operating results and stock price,” said Ed Crenshaw, chief executive officer, said in a statement. ...

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