TJX March Sales Blow Past Forecasts

Boosted by unseasonably warm weather and an increase in foot traffic, TJX Cos. (NYSE:TJX) nearly doubled Wall Street’s expectations by generating a 10% leap in March same-store sales.

The upbeat sales growth prompted the parent of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls to boost its full-year and first-quarter earnings forecast.

Framingham, Mass.-based TJX said its net sales soared 14% to $2.3 billion last month. Same-store sales, a key metric for retailers, jumped 10% in March, blowing past the Street’s view of 5.3%.

“I am extremely pleased that our momentum continued in March, leading to a well-above-plan consolidated comparable store sales increase of 10% and strong increases in all of our businesses in the U.S., Canada, and Europe,” CEO Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement. “While unusually warm weather was a positive in the month, sales were also strong in regions where the weather is typically warm.”

In the wake of the bullish March figures, TJX upped its first-quarter EPS view to 51 cents to 52 cents, up from 45 cents to 47 cents previously. That new guidance compares favorably with estimates from analysts for 47 cents.

TJX also raised its fiscal 2013 EPS forecast to $2.25 to $2.35, up from $2.21 to $2.31 earlier. The midpoint of the new view, $2.30, would miss the Street’s view by a penny.

Shares of TJX, which have already rallied 21% so far this year, jumped 1.83% to $40.08 in Thursday’s premarkets.