TJX sees holiday qtr comparable sales flat to up 2 percent

Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:46am EST

(Reuters) - TJX Cos Inc (TJX.N), owner of the Marshalls and T.J. Maxx chains, reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday and said it expects same-store sales during the holiday quarter to be flat to up 2 percent.

Its shares were up nearly 1 percent at $41.23 in early trading.

TJX, which sells designer clothing and home goods at lower prices than department stores, raised its full-year earnings forecast by a penny, to $2.45 to $2.48 per share.

It said it estimates a profit of 72 cents to 75 cents per share for the current quarter, which includes the holiday period. That is below the 76 cents Wall Street analysts were expecting.

The company, which also operates the T.K. Maxx chain in Europe, reported net income of $461.5 million, or 62 cents per share, for the fiscal third quarter that ended October 27, up from $406.5 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier. That was 1 cent above analyst expectation.

Net sales rose 10.7 percent to $6.41 billion, while same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, rose 7 percent. The gain was most pronounced in Europe, where same-store sales were up 11 percent.

"(TJX's) momentum should continue as TJX continues to attract new customers (and) margins should expand as Europe continues to improve," Lazard Capital Markets analyst Jennifer Davis wrote in a research note.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by John Wallace and Maureen Bavdek)