The off-price retail segment continues to be steady amid larger retail-industry struggles as evidenced by the latest round of earnings from The TJX Companies Inc.
The company, which owns discount chains Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, said its net income for the fourth quarter increased 2.8 percent year-over-year to $666.5 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, compared to the comparable quarter’s earnings of $648.2 million, or 93 cents per diluted share. It was a solid beat over analysts’ estimates for diluted EPS of 94 cents.
Q4 net sales increased 8 percent year-over-year, to $9 billion, and beat market watchers’ forecast for sales of $8.7 billion.
Consolidated comparable store sales also rose a solid 6 percent year-over-year.
“We are extremely pleased to end another strong year with terrific fourth quarter results … Once again, customer traffic drove our entire consolidated comp increase. It was also the primary driver of our comp increases at every division in the fourth quarter and full year as we continued delivering consumers a differentiated offering at extreme value,” TJX President and CEO Ernie Herrman said in a release. “We are convinced that we are gaining market share profitably around the world. We were particularly pleased that our overall merchandise margin was up in the fourth quarter while we continued to offer shoppers outstanding values.”
Herrman added, “We have sustained profitable growth through many types of economic and retail climates and in different regions around the world, and we have great confidence in the future.”
For the full year, net sales advanced 6.6 percent, to $30.9 billion, while comps increased 5 percent. Full-year net income grew 2.7 percent, to $2.3 billion.
Looking ahead to FY17, TJX said it expects diluted EPS to be in the range of $3.29 to $3.38, reflecting the negative impact of foreign currency and its previously announced wage initiative.
“The year is off to a strong start and we have many initiatives planned to continue driving sales and traffic…” Herrman said. “We plan to continue to balance our growth with investments, develop new seeds for growth, and strengthen our leadership positions across the globe … We are confident that we are making the right decisions and investments today that position us extremely well to continue capturing market share and reach $40 billion and beyond.”