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The leading off-price retailer, The TJX Companies (TJX - Analyst Report), is expanding its board and has welcomed Dawn Lepore to its team of ten ongoing directors in the company.

Prior to joining TJX, Dawn Lepore was at Prosper Marketplace, Inc. where she served as the interim CEO from Mar 2012 to Jan 2013. She has held various leadership positions at The Charles Schwab Company and CEO and Chairman of the Board of drugstore.com, inc. – an online retailer of health, beauty and wellness products – from 2004 to 2011. 

TJX is geared to boost its online sales and has acquired an off-price internet retailer, Sierra Trading Post, in Dec 2012, which will provide a launch pad for TJX’s own branded transactional web site. It will be able to leverage Sierra’s expertise and experience in online retailing and exploit the booming e-commerce territory. The acquisition is beneficial to TJX as it is already geared up to launch online brands for its HomeGoods and Marmaxx divisions.

An increasing number of retailers are focusing on online business, which expands their reach to a greater number of customers at a time. We expect the acquisition to boost TJX’s earnings in fiscal 2014.

On May 21, 2013, TJX delivered adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up 13% from the year-ago quarter. Earnings were in line with the higher end of management’s guidance range of 60 cents to 62 cents and with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The earnings upside was fueled by higher consumer traffic on the back of fresh stocks in the stores and solid comparable-store sales growth for consecutive months.

Total net sales of this leading off-price retailer grew 7.0% year over year to $6.2 billion in the reported quarter. Net sales were roughly in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

For the second quarter of 2014, the company expects earnings per share in the range of 61 cents to 63 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second quarter is pegged at 64 cents.

However, for fiscal 2014, the company narrowed its outlook and now expects earnings per share in the range of $2.70 to $2.78 compared to a range of $2.66 to $2.78 as announced previously.

TJX currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the retail and wholesale sector worth considering include Stein Mart Inc. , with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and The Gap Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report) and Foot Locker Inc. (FL - Snapshot Report), both with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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