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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, descended 2% year over year in the five-week period ended Apr 6, 2013. Comparable store sales in the period were within the guidance provided by management.

Total sales climbed 5% for the aforementioned period to $2.4 billion. The modest growth is attributable to the early Easter coupled with the unusually cold weather across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

However, comparable store sales climbed in regions where the weather was warmer. Moreover, the cold weather gave the usual boost to the home category, while the apparel section   suffered. Management also noted that sales picked up at the end of Mar, as weather improved, and the company has started Apr with a good momentum and an excellent inventory.

In the U.S. Division of The Marmaxx group, comp sales slipped 3%. A strong 7% gain in home fashions comps were offset by a 5% decline in apparel comps. While West Coast reported a comp increase in mid-single digits, Florida and the Southwest outperformed the chain with positive comps.

TJX Canada, however, was negatively affected by winter storms and reported a slip of 5% in same-store sales during the month. TJX Europe continues to report flat comp sales  compared with  the year-ago period.

Although cold weather affected most retailers, Limited Brands Inc. and Ross Stores (ROST - Analyst Report) reported sales ahead of view with comp gains of 3% and 2% respectively. However, Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST - Analyst Report) reported the highest comp gain of 4%.

Guidance

For the first quarter of 2014, the company expects earnings per share between 60 cents and 62 cents compared with the earlier guidance range of 59 cents to 62 cents.

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., TJX is an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer operating in the U.S. and internationally. The company operates its stores under the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Winners, HomeSense, HomeGoods, and T.K. Maxx trademarks. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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