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TJX Q4 Advanced But Not As Much As Wall Street Expected

For the fiscal year ended February 2, The TJX Cos., Inc. posted net sales of $1.9 billion versus $1.5 billion in fiscal 2011, and diluted earnings per share of $2.55 compared to $1.93 last year. Comparable store sales for the year on an equal 52-week basis gained 7% over the prior year, the company reported.

Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year were $25.9 billion, a 12% advance over last annum, it added.

The 2011 results include a number of unique items that impacted the comparability of earnings per share. With those excluded, diluted earnings per share for the fiscal year increased 28% over the adjusted $1.99 last year, the company asserted.

For the 14-week fourth quarter, net income was $605 million versus $475 million in the 2011 period, and diluted earnings per share were 82 cents, a 32% increase over 62 cents in last year’s final frame. However, excluding the approximately eight cent benefit from the extra week in the company’s fiscal year, adjusted earnings per share were 74 cents, a 19% increase over the 2011 period but below a Thomson Reuter’s consensus financial analyst estimate of 81 cents.

Comps in the quarter, on an equal 13-week basis, increased 4% year over year, the company stated. Comps in the HomeGoods division came in above the company average at 5% and only were surpassed by TJX Europe, up 7%. Marmaxx in the United States, including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, enjoyed a 4% comps gain while Canada reported a 3% comp advance in the quarter.

TJX net sales in the quarter were $7.7 billion, a 15% increase over the prior year, it said.

Carol Meyrowitz, TJX CEO, said in comments on company results, “We achieved adjusted EPS growth of 28% on sales of nearly $26 billion and consolidated comp store sales growth of 7%, marking the fourth consecutive year of very strong sales and double-digit EPS increases. 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. Marmaxx, our largest division, continues to be very powerful with excellent performance of new T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores as we expand into more rural markets as well as major cities. HomeGoods has taken hold as a shopping destination for exciting, quality product from around the world. TJX Canada delivered very strong results with Marshalls in Canada outperforming our expectations, and TJX Europe has regained its momentum and opens up enormous growth opportunity. We believe this all speaks to the staying power of our value proposition of extreme values on exciting fashions and brands. As large as we are, we have enormous store growth potential and are excited about the opportunity to leverage the success of our brick-and-mortar business with e-commerce over time. Our management team is focused on our four powerful divisions, and I am as confident as ever in our ability to continue driving profitable sales growth for many years to come. We are well on the road to being a $40 billion-plus company.”