Better sales led off-price giant The TJX Cos. Inc. to a 9.2 percent rise in third-quarter profit.

This story first appeared in the November 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Net income increased to $406.5 million, or $1.06 a diluted share, from $372.3 million, or 92 cents, a year earlier. Earnings per share met Wall Street’s expectations.

Sales for the three months ended Oct. 29 rose 4.8 percent to $5.79 billion from $5.53 billion with a 3 percent rise in comparable-store sales.

“Although it’s still early, November is off to a strong start,” said Carol Meyrowitz, chief executive officer.

Meyrowitz said the company was bullish about the fourth quarter, in part, because “our inventory position allows us to buy into current trends and ship fresh gift assortments continuously throughout the season; we are ready with great gift initiatives [and] our marketing campaigns will be seen by more people than ever before.”

For the full year, TJX expects adjusted earnings per share of $3.93 to $3.97, narrowing the range from its previous guidance, which projected profits of $3.89 to $3.97.

“We believe the off-price business model has proved to be quite resilient and expect continued market share gains over the years,” said Randal Konik, analyst at Jefferies. “Further, TJX’s aggressive advertising strategy heading into holiday is expected to drive traffic gains and shows the company remains on the offensive.”

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