TJX Posts Strong Sales in December

Zacks

Consolidated same-store sales at The TJX Companies Inc. (TJX), an off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, climbed 6% year over year in the five-week period ended December 29, 2012, compared to the 8% increase in the year-ago period. Total sales went up 10% year over year for the aforementioned period to $3.6 billion. Comparable sales were once again driven by higher customer traffic.

As for the 48-week period ended December 29, 2012, comparable sales climbed 7% from the year-ago period. Total sales for the same period went up 10% year over year to $23.9 billion.

Comparable store sales exceeded management’s expectations of 2% on the back of strong performance across all stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Further, efficient choice of stocks at the stores improved customer traffic during the period.

Guidance

Following strong sales in December, the company raised the fourth quarter fiscal 2013 earnings outlook to 77 cents-78 cents a share, up from the previously announced range of 72 cents to 75 cents. The improved earnings guidance reflects a 24%-26% increase from the year-ago quarter. For the full year, the company raised its guidance by 20% to the range of $2.50-$2.51 per share from the previously announced range of $2.45 to $2.48.

Our Recommendation

Currently, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock. TJX, which closely competes with Kohl's Corporation (KSS), holds a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating).

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