U.S. Markets closed

TJX April key revenue metric rises; ups outlook

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) -- TJX Cos., which operates Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, said Thursday that its revenue at stores open at least a year rose 6 percent in April, easily topping Wall Street's forecast.

The company also boosted its first-quarter and fiscal 2013 earnings outlooks.

For the month of April, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a 4 percent increase in revenue at stores open at least a year.

This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it measures growth from ongoing operations, and excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

CEO Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement that sales at the Framingham, Mass., company's stores benefited from a significant rise in traffic as shoppers sought out bargains.

Total revenue for the four weeks ended April 28 climbed 7 percent to $1.8 billion.

For the fiscal year to date, revenue at stores open at least a year increased 8 percent and total revenue rose 11 percent to $5.8 billion.

TJX now expects first-quarter earnings of about 54 cents per share, up from a range of 51 cents to 52 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, were forecasting first-quarter earnings of 52 cents per share, with estimates ranging from 47 cents to 54 cents, according to data provider FactSet

The discount retailer now predicts fiscal 2013 earnings of $2.26 to $2.36 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings of $2.25 to $2.35 per share for the year.

Wall Street expects 2013 earnings of $2.37 per share, with estimates ranging from $2.18 to $2.49.

TJX operates 990 T.J. Maxx, 888 Marshalls and 383 HomeGoods stores in the U.S.; 220 Winners, 86 HomeSense and 12 Marshalls stores in Canada and 335 T.K. Maxx and 24 HomeSense stores in Europe.

Shares of TJX Cos. slipped 19 cents to $42.34 in morning trading as the broader markets turned down.