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TJX's Oct Comps Solid, Ups Outlook

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Consolidated same-store sales at The TJX Companies Inc. (TJX - Free Report) , an off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, climbed 7.0% year over year in the four-week period ended October 27, 2012. As for total sales, it climbed 11.0% year over year for the aforementioned period to $2.1 billion.

As for the 39-week period ended October 27, 2012, comparable sales climbed 8% from the year-ago period. Total sales for the same period went up 10.0% year over year to $18.2 billion.

Comparable sales jumped once again on the back of higher customer traffic in the U.S., Canada and Europe divisions. TJX Europe delivered growth of 11% during the four-week period ended October 27, 2012 despite economic uncertainties in the region.

Guidance Update

Following strong October comparable store sales, TJX raised its outlook for the third quarter and fiscal year 2013. TJX is slated to release its third quarter results on November 13 and expects adjusted earnings to be approximately 63 cents in the quarter. The company previously guided its adjusted earnings at the higher end of the 56 to 59 cents per share range.

For fiscal year 2013, the company expects adjusted earnings in the range of $2.46–$2.49 per share.

Our Recommendation

TJX has been reporting an increase in comparable store sales for the past several quarters driven by higher demand and increased consumer traffic.

We are encouraged by the company’s flexible off-price business model that allows it to act according to market trends. TJX has a low-cost structure compared to many other traditional retailers. It focuses aggressively on reducing expenses across its segments.

Its close competitor, Kohl's Corporation (KSS - Free Report) reported a 3.3% increase in comparable store sales for the four-week period ended October 27, 2012. Total sales also jumped 4.6% to $1.39 billion during the same period.

The TJX Companies carries a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating). Over the long-term, the stock has a Neutral recommendation.

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