T.J. Maxx and Marshalls parent TJX Companies (TJX) reported a disappointing fourth-quarter profit and current-quarter outlook on Wednesday, however sales at its more established stores continued to improve.
The Framingham, Mass.-based off-priced retailer reported net income of $605 million, or 82 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $475.3 million, or 62 cents.
Excluding a one-time benefit, TJX said it earned 74 cents, below average analyst estimates of 81 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 2 increased by 15% to $7.7 billion from $6.7 billion a year ago, virtually matching the Street’s view. Same-store sales, a measurement of sales at stores open longer than a year, edged up 4%.
“Customer traffic was up across all of our divisions as our off-price shopping experience continued to resonate with customers, even with the growth in online shopping in the retail industry,” said TJX Chief Executive Officer Carol Meyrowitz.
In a sign of optimism, Meyrowitz said TJX is poised to become a $40 billion company as it continues to improve its ability to drive profitable sales growth. On Wednesday, TJX held a market value of $31.8 billion.
TJX also on Wednesday announced a commitment to buy back $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion shares during the fiscal year ending Feb. 1, 2014 and raised its quarterly dividend by 26% to 14.5 cents, set to be declared in April and payable in June.
For the current quarter, TJX sees earnings between 59 cents and 62 cents on flat to 2% same-store sales growth. Analysts on average are calling for stronger first-quarter earnings of 63 cents.
The retail chain, which also operates HomeGoods, sees EPS between $2.66 and $2.78 for the full year, below the consensus view of $2.84 a share, on same-store sales growth of 1% to 2%.