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Consolidated same-store sales at The TJX Companies Inc. (TJX - Analyst Report), an off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, climbed 3% year over year in the five-week period ended February 2, 2013, compared to the 7% increase in the comparable year-ago period.

Total sales soared 35.7% year over year for the aforementioned period to $1.9 billion. Comparable sales were once again driven by higher customer traffic.

As for the 52-week period ended January 26, 2013, comparable sales climbed 7% from the year-ago period. Total sales for the 53-week period 53-week fiscal year ended February 2, 2013 went up 12% year over year to $23.2 billion.

Comparable store sales exceeded management’s expectations on the back of strong performance across all stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Further, efficient choice of stocks at the stores improved customer traffic during the period.

With consumers regaining confidence, Jan 2013 was strong for most retailers, including Gap Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report), Ross Stores Inc. (ROST - Analyst Report) and Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Analyst Report) which registered comps growth of 8%, 4% and 4%, respectively.

Guidance

Following strong sales in December, the company raised the fourth quarter fiscal 2013 earnings outlook to 80 cents – 81 cents, up from the previously announced range of 77 cents – 78 cents. The improved earnings guidance reflects a 29%-31% increase from the year-ago quarter.

For the full year, the company raised its guidance to the range of $2.53-$2.54 per share from the previously announced range of $2.50-$2.51.

Headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, TJX is an an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and internationally. The company operates its stores under the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Winners, HomeSense, HomeGoods, and T.K. Maxx trademarks. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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