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Business Roundup: Earnings From Target, TJX And Big 5

Target Posts Better-Than-Expected Results

The retailer’s Canadian exit cost Target during its fourth quarter, but the company’s results were stronger than expected nonetheless: a $2.64 billion loss in the period ending Jan. 31, 2015. In the year-ago period, Target posted a profit of $520 million. Adjusted to exclude the Canadian exit and other items, earnings were $1.50 per share, ahead of the $1.43 to $1.47 per share the company had previously forecast and better than analyst expectations of $1.46 per share.

Fourth-quarter 2014 sales rose to $21.8 billion from $20.9 billion last year. That was a 4.1 percent increase, slightly ahead of analyst predictions that the company’s sales would be $21.6 billion. Target said it had a particularly strong holiday quarter.

Full-year 2014 sales rose 1.9 percent, to $72.6 billion, compared with $71.3 billion last year.

In first-quarter 2015, Target expects adjusted earnings per share to range from $0.95 to $1.05, compared with $0.92 in first-quarter 2014.

TJX Reports Strong 2015 Results, Releases Modest Guidance

Net income for the quarter ending Jan. 31, 2015 was $648 million, or 93 cents per diluted share. Last year, the company reported a profit of $582.3 million, or 81 cents per share. Analysts had predicted that TJX would see a profit of 90 cents per share in the quarter.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $8.3 billion, a 6 percent jump over last year’s $7.8 billion.

For the year, net income was $2.2 billion, or $3.15 diluted earnings per share, ahead of analyst expectations of $3.13 per share. For the year, sales rose 6 percent compared with 2014, to $29.1 billion. Comparable-store sales increased 2 percent over fiscal year 2014’s 3 percent rise. 

For the fiscal year ending Jan. 30, 2016, TJX expects diluted earnings per share to range from $3.17 to $3.25. That’s modest guidance compared with analysts’ prediction of $3.50 per share profit in the next year.

TJX also announced plans to raise sales-associate wages to $9 an hour starting in June, and raise them to $10 an hour in 2016 for employees with the company for six months or more.

Big 5 Sporting Goods Misses Expectations After Soft Holiday Season

Profit for the El Segundo, Calif.-based company fell to $2.8 million, or 13 cents per diluted share. Last year, Big 5 reported profit of $5.2 million, or 23 cents per share. Analysts had expected the company to make 16 cents a share.

Net sales for the quarter ending Dec. 28, 2014 were $250.3 million, a slight rise over the $248 million from the year-ago period. Same-store sales decreased half a percent during the quarter.

Net sales in 2014 topped $977.9 million, compared with fiscal 2013’s net sales of $993.3 million. Same-store sales fell 2.9% in fiscal 2014 from the prior year. Profit in 2014 was $14.9 million, or $0.67 per diluted share. Analysts had expected 71 cents profit in the year.

For the first quarter of 2015, Big 5 said it expects same-store sales to increase to the low- to mid-single-digit range, with earnings per diluted share to range from $0.06 to $0.13. The company cited the labor dispute at the West Coast ports and its impact on product availability for the modest expectations.

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