Framingham, MA—Reporting a rise in traffic across all its divisions, TJX Companies reported today that its second quarter profit was up as comparable store sales increased in its Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and HomeGoods stores.
For the quarter ended July 28, TJX posted a net profit of $421 million, or 56 cents a share, up from $348.3 million, or 45 a share, a year ago.
Net sales increased 9% to $5.95 billion with consolidated comparable store sales up 7% on top of a 4% increase a year ago.
While TJX’s earnings were ahead of analysts’ estimate for 55 cents a share, the company’s sales just missed their expectation for $6 billion.
Noting the report marks TJX’ seventh consecutive year of very strong second quarter performance, Carol Meyrowitz, ceo, noted: “Customer traffic was up substantially at all divisions in the U.S., Canada and Europe and drove most of the comparable store sales increase, reflecting our on-point fashions and brands at great values…August is off to a strong start and we have many exciting opportunities for the second half of 2012.”
By division, combined sales at U.S. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores rose 8.8% to $3.98 billion with comp sales up 7%, while sales at U.S. HomeGoods stores rose 16% to $598 million with comp sales up 9%. Same-store sales at TJX Canada and TJX Europe were up 5% and 10%, respectively.
Total inventories fell to $3 billion from $3.4 billion a year earlier. Gross margin widened to 28.1% from 27.3%.
Due to its strong performance, TJX raised its full year earnings forecast to $2.39 to $2.45 a share, up from its previous estimate for $2.38 to $2.44 per share. Analysts’ average expects a $2.46 per share.
For its third quarter, TJX forecast earnings of 56 to 59 cents a share. Analysts’ consensus is for 62 cents a share.
Meyrowitz added: “It’s important to note that TJX is a company with a business model that enables us to succeed in most macro environments and, at the same time, has terrific growth potential.”