More customers help TJX 1Q profit rise 58 pct

More customers help lift TJX 1st-qtr profit 58 percent; raises profit outlook for year

Associated Press

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) -- Discount retailer TJX Cos. said Tuesday that its fiscal first-quarter net income soared 58 percent as more customers shopped in its stores.

The chain, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores, also raised its profit forecast for the year and posted an outlook for the current quarter. Both predictions fell short of Wall Street's expectations, but shares still popped $1.80, or 4.5 percent, to $41.50 in morning trading Tuesday.

Profit came in at $419.2 million, or 55 cents per share, for the three months ended April 28. That's up sharply from $266 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

This just topped analysts' average estimate of 54 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue climbed 11 percent to $5.8 billion from $5.22 billion, slightly above the $5.76 billion Wall Street predicted.

Discounters like TJX have benefited as consumers look for bargains and keep a close eye on their spending in the modest economic recovery from the recession.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 8 percent. This metric is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The company also said it made more money from the merchandise it sold.

The Framingham, Mass. company now expects earnings of $2.27 to $2.37 per share for the year ending in January 2013, up from a previous prediction of $2.21 to $2.31 per share. Analysts are forecasting still higher earnings of $2.40 per share.

For the current period ending in July, the company's fiscal second quarter, TJX predicts earnings of 47 cents to 50 cents per share. Analysts expect stronger growth, to 51 cents per share.

TJX runs 990 T.J. Maxx, 888 Marshalls, and 383 HomeGoods stores in the U.S., along with stores in Europe and Canada.

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