Q3 Gains Get TJX Mulling Future, Home Fashions

For the third quarter ended October 27, TJX Cos. posted net income of $461.6 million and diluted earnings per share of 62 cents versus net income of $406.5 million and diluted earning per share of 53 cents in the period a year earlier. Net sales increased 11% versus the quarter last year to $6.4 billion, and consolidated comparable store sales increased 7%.

TJX beat a Thomson Reuters average analyst earnings estimate by a penny.

HomeGoods posted net sales of $637.5 million in the quarter, up from $551.1 million in the year-earlier period. The TJX home products specialist posted segment profits of $76.8 million versus $63.1 million in the 2011 quarter, TJX noted.

In a conference call, Carol Meyrowitz, TJX CEO, said customer traffic continued to drive comps across the company’s several banners.

In the conference call, Scott Goldenberg, CFO, said the company expected full year comparable store sales at Home Goods to come in up 6% to 7%, while it anticipated comps for Marmaxx coming in up 5% to 6%, those for TJX Canada, including Winners and HomeSense, coming in up 4% and those at TJX Europe, including T.K. Maxx and HomeSense, coming in up 8% to 9%. Goldenberg said TJX expects company-wide comp to gain 5% to 6% for the year.

Meyrowitz said in the conference call that HomeGoods was among the elements in the TJX mix that would provide ongoing opportunity for the company.

“We believe HomeGoods can grow to 750 stores, nearly double its size, and potentially larger long-term,” she said. “The strong new store performance in markets we opened last year is extremely encouraging, and other U.S. home retailers are more than twice the size of HomeGoods, speaking to the size of our opportunities.”

Commenting on third quarter results, Meyrowitz  said, “Our 17% increase in earnings per share and 7% consolidated comparable store sales growth both significantly exceeded our original expectations and every division delivered excellent performance. Customer traffic was up at all divisions in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and drove the comparable store sales increases, which we believe is a great indicator of the staying power of our value proposition on exciting fashions and brands. At this time, we are raising our full-year guidance. We have terrific opportunities for the holiday selling season and fourth quarter: we will be shipping fresh gift selections to our stores continuously throughout the holiday season; our marketing campaigns will be seen by more people, we have fantastic in-store initiatives planned and of course, we will be offering consumers great fashions and brands at extreme values. In addition to our excitement about our business for the near term, we are very excited about our long-term opportunities.”