The TJX Companies, Inc.
) adjusted earnings of 82 cents per share in the fourth quarter
of fiscal 2013 was ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a
penny. However, the reported earnings increased 32% from the
The earnings upside was fueled by higher consumer traffic on the
back of fresh stocks in the stores and solid comparable-store
sales growth for consecutive months.
Total net sales of this leading off-price retailer grew 15.0%
year over year to $7.7 billion in the reported quarter, driven by
solid growth in consolidated comparable store sales. Net sales
beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.6 billion.
TJX Companies' consolidated comparable store sales excluding the
extra week in 2013 increased 4.0% in the quarter, driven by
same-store sales growth of 4% at Marmaxx, 5% at Home Goods, 7% at
TJX Europe and 3% at TJX Canada.
Comparable store sales growth exceeded management's expectations
on the back of strong performance in all the stores in the U.S.,
Canada and Europe. Further, well-chosen stocks at the stores
improved customer traffic during the period.
TJX Companies' gross margin expanded 1.4 percentage points from
the prior-year quarter to 28.6%. The margin expansion was
mostly driven by increased merchandise sales margin.
Selling, general and administrative costs as a percentage of
sales increased 0.2 percentage point year on year to 16.0% in the
third quarter, driven by expense leverage.
During the fourth quarter, the company spent a total of $350
million to repurchase TJX stock, retiring 8.1 million shares.
For the fiscal 2014, the company expects diluted EPS to be in the
range of $2.66 to $2.78. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal
2014 is $2.81, higher than the company's guidance range.
For the first quarter of 2014, the company expects diluted
earnings per share to be in the range of 59 cents to 62 cents
Saks currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks in
the retail and wholesale sector worth considering include
New York & Company Inc.
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy),
Abercrombie & Fitch Company
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and
) also with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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