TJX Sees Slower Sales Growth in 2013

Retailer logs strong earnings, sales for 2012.

T.J. Maxx

The TJX Cos. Inc.—which is already one of the world’s largest apparel retailers with sales of $25.88 billion last year—sees big growth ahead, but not necessarily this year.

The corporate parent to T.J. Maxx and Marshalls saw 2012 earnings jump 27.4 percent to $1.91 billion, or $2.55 a diluted share, from $1.5 billion, or $1.93, in the prior year. Sales gained 11.6 percent to $25.88 billion from $23.19 billion with a comparable-store sales increase of 7 percent.

Carol Meyrowitz, chief executive officer, exclaimed in the company’s year-end report that, “We are well on the road to being a $40 billion-plus company!”

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This year, however, TJX is projecting comp sales growth of just 1 percent to 2 percent, driving earnings up to $2.66 to $2.78 a share.

Shares of the company inched up 1 cent to $43.68 in early trading on Wall Street.

Meyrowitz described 2012 as a “great year” and noted strength in its Marmaxx division, which includes T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, as well as in its HomeGoods unit and TJX Canada. She also said TJX Europe had “regained its momentum.”

“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,” said Meyrowitz, who is expected to detail the company’s online plans on a conference call with analysts today.

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TJX’s fourth-quarter profits gained 27.3 percent to $604.8 million, or 82 cents a diluted share, from $475.3 million, or 62 cents, a year earlier. Earnings came in 1 cent ahead of the 81 cents Wall Street analysts projected.

Sales for the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2 gained 15.1 percent to $7.72 billion from $6.71 billion. The fiscal fourth quarter included an extra week versus last year, which helped improve results.

Comparable-store sales, which strip away the extra week, gained 4 percent.