The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TJX) reported a marked increase in fourth-quarter sales, aided by impressive comparable store performance during the holiday season. As a result, earnings climbed 19% and topped expectations. The company also hiked its quarterly dividend, as widely expected. The stock rose about 5% early Wednesday, following the announcement.
The apparel retailer reported net income of $984.79 million or $0.81 per share for the January-Quarter, up from last year’s profit of $841.54 million or $0.68 per share. The bottom line came in above Wall Street’s prediction and the management’s guidance.
Driving the earnings growth, net sales climbed to $12.21 billion from $11.13 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. Analysts had forecast slower growth.
Comps up 6%
Total comparable store sales were up 6% year-over-year, reflecting the strong growth across all business segments.
“Our exciting brands and gift-giving assortments at great values, supported by our marketing, attracted customers around the globe during the holiday season and beyond. Fourth-quarter earnings per share of $.81 were also well above our guidance,” said CEO Ernie Herrman.
For fiscal 2021, the management expects earnings per share to be between $2.77 and $2.83, representing a 4-6% annual growth. It is looking for full-year comparable-store sales growth of 2-3%. In the first quarter of 2021, earnings are expected to be in the range of $.59 per share to $.60 per share, which reflects a 2-3% increase in comparable-store sales.
The company also announced plans to hike quarterly dividend by 13% to $0.26 per share – which will be declared in March for payment in June 2020 – and to repurchase $1.75-$2.25 billion of its stock in the current fiscal year. TJX ended the fourth quarter with a total of 4,529 stores, which is up 5% from the same period of last year.
TJX Companies’ shares gained during Wednesday’s pre-market trading session, after closing the last session lower. The stock has risen 15% in the past twelve months.
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