T.J. Maxx Profit Climbs 36% on Comp-Store Sales Growth

Marshalls operator TJX (NYSE:TJX) reported a better-than-expected 36% rise in first-quarter profit and lifted its fiscal year guidance on Tuesday as sales at its veteran stores continued to improve.

The off-price retailer operating under brands such as T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods reported net income of $419 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $266 million, or 34 cents.

Revenue for the three months ended April 28 was up 11% year-over-year to $5.8 billion from $5.2 billion on an 8% increase in comparable-store sales, or those open longer than a year.

Analysts were looking for a profit of just 54 cents on sales of $5.76 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

The results were led by gains in the U.S., Canada and Europe, with comparable sales up across its domestic and international divisions.

The retailer’s gross profit margin improved by 2.2 points to 11.8% as TJX continued to tighten administrative costs.

“We are extremely pleased that our strong momentum continued in the first quarter,” TJX chief executive, Carol Meyrowitz, said in a statement.

The company had raised its full-year guidance earlier this month on strong customer traffic and lifted it again by another penny on Tuesday to a range of $2.27 to $2.37 a share. It sees earnings for the current quarter between 47 cents and 50 cents.

Analysts are looking for higher fiscal 2013 earnings of $2.39 a share and second-quarter profit of 51 cents.

“May is off to a strong start and we begin the second quarter in an excellent inventory position to buy into current opportunities in the marketplace and continue shipping great fashions and brands at great prices to our stores,” Meyrowitz said.