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Will TJX Beat in 4Q?

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The TJX Company (TJX - Free Report) is set to report fourth quarter fiscal 2013 results on Feb 27. Last quarter it met expectations. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors This Past Quarter

TJX Company’s third quarter earnings were 17% higher than the year-ago quarter. The earnings upside was fueled by fresh stock in the stores, which drove up consumer traffic and resulted in high single-digit comparable-store sales growth right through the quarter.

The company has been posting same store sales growth every month for over two years. Well-chosen stock at the stores improved customer traffic during the period.

Following the third-quarter results announcement, management raised its fourth quarter and full-year 2013 earnings outlook to reflect the consistent rise in same store sales.

The company entered the e-commerce segment through its acquisition of Sierra Trading during the past quarter. The acquisition should be beneficial to TJX, which is already geared up to launch online brands for its HomeGoods and Marmaxx divisions.

An increasing number of retailers are turning focus to online channels, which expands their reach to a greater number of customers at a time. However rising input cost is a matter of concern.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that TJX is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP:  That is because the Most Accurate estimate for the next quarter stands at $0.81 which is exactly the same as the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.81.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy): TJX Company’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) has little effect on the predictive power of ESP because the Zacks #2 Rank when combined with a 0% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks #4 and #5 Ranks (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements, that is,  a positive Zacks Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3.

New York & Company Inc. (NWY - Free Report) with an Earnings ESP of +12.50% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Express Inc. (EXPR - Free Report) with an Earnings ESP of +1.35% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.01% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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