The recession is funneling both customers and profits to The TJX Cos., which boosted its bottom line by 7.9 percent in the first quarter and is seeking to solidify its position in the off-price category.
Quarterly earnings for the Framingham, Mass.-based parent of TJ Maxx and Marshalls rose to $209.2 million, or 49 cents a diluted share, from $193.8 million, or 43 cents, and were in line with analyst estimates. Sales for the three months ended May 2 inched up 1.2 percent to $4.35 billion from $4.3 billion and grew 2 percent on a same-store basis.
Combined operating profits from TJ Maxx and Marshalls increased 18.7 percent to $330.7 million on a 4.9 percent rise in sales to $2.94 billion. Comparable-store sales at Marmaxx were up 1 percent in the quarter.
The more moderate A.J. Wright division posted operating earnings of $4.4 million, reversing year-ago losses of $885,000, as sales rose 16.3 percent, to $179.4 million, and same-store sales jumped 12 percent.
“Customer traffic increased significantly across virtually all of our divisions, as customers responded to our extreme values on ever-fresh assortments,” said Carol Meyrowitz, president and chief executive officer. “We are taking advantage of this environment to attract new customers, open new vendor doors and take advantage of real estate opportunities.”
For the second quarter, TJX expects earnings of 43 cents to 49 cents a share, compared with profits of 48 cents from continuing operations in the same quarter a year earlier.
Investors traded the stock up $1.09, or 3.9 percent, to $29.03.
“TJX is doing a good job of driving merchandise margin improvement through its focus on making purchases opportunistically and closer to need,” said Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Jason Asaeda, who upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold.”
But Jefferies & Co. analyst Randal Konik kept his “hold” rating on the stock and said profit margin expansion could slow as more prudent inventory practices are utilized. He also said the company could be running out of places to cut costs.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)