TJX Cos. shares rose 1.6% in Wednesday premarket trading after the off-price retailer announced fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat estimates. TJX stores include T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods. Net income was $677.9 million, or $1.03 per share, up from from $666.5 million, or 99 cents per share, last year. The FactSet consensus was $1.00. Sales were $9.47 billion, up from $8.96 billion last year and ahead of the $9.44 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales increased 3%, beating the FactSet consensus for a 2.6% increase. TJX plans to increase the quarterly dividend by 20% to 31.25 cents per share for common stock declared in April 2017, payable in June 2017. The company also announced a stock repurchase program of about $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion during the fiscal year ending Feb. 3, 2018. There's $1.8 billion remaining in the existing fiscal 2017 repurchase program. For the first quarter, TJX sees EPS in the range of 76 cents to 78 cents compared with 76 cents last year and below the 81-cent FactSet consensus. The company expects wage increases to hurt EPS growth by 3%. TJX shares are up 4.4% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 21.6% for the same period.
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