AP News

TJX 4Q results miss Wall Street's expectations

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) — TJX — parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other stores — said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income declined 4 percent as the year-ago period benefited from an extra week.

Its performance missed analysts' expectations, and the company gave first-quarter and fiscal 2015 earnings forecasts below Wall Street's view.

TJX, which operates more than 3,000 stores selling discounted clothing, home goods and other items, also announced a new $2 billion share repurchase program and said it plans to boost its quarterly dividend by 21 percent.

The company earned $582.3 million, or 81 cents per share, for the period ended Feb. 1. That compares with $604.8 million, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier. Stripping out the extra week, adjusted earnings were 74 cents per share in the prior-year period.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 82 cents per share for the current quarter.

Revenue for the Framingham, Mass. company edged up 1 percent to $7.81 billion from $7.72 billion. Wall Street was looking for a bit more, estimating $7.86 billion in revenue.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, rose 3 percent. This metric excludes results from locations recently opened or closed.

For the year, TJX Cos. earned $2.14 billion, or $2.94 per share. In the prior year it earned $1.91 billion, or $2.55 per share.

Adjusted earnings were $2.83 per share.

Annual revenue rose 6 percent to $27.42 billion from $25.88 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year climbed 3 percent.

Going forward, TJX foresees first-quarter earnings between 65 cents and 66 cents per share. It projects fiscal 2015 earnings in a range of $3.05 to $3.19 per share.

Analysts predict first-quarter earnings of 72 cents per share and full-year earnings of $3.24 per share.

TJX said it plans to raise its quarterly dividend by 21 percent to 17.5 cents per share from 14.5 cents per share. The dividend would be payable in June. The dividend hike still needs approval from the company's board.

Shares of TJX added 55 cents to $61.54 in morning trading. The stock is up 41 percent in the past year.

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