TJX Q1 profit drops slips on A.J. Wright closings

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — TJX Cos. reported that net income for the first quarter plummeted 20% on the closing of its A.J. Wright stores, but strong sales buoyed the retailer’s full-year forecasts.

TJX earned $266 million in the quarter ended April 30, compared with $331.4 million in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 4% to $5.22 billion, surpassing Wall Street's estimate of $5.14 billion.

Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of TJX stated, “I am pleased that we delivered strong sales results in the face of our most challenging year-over-year comparisons of any quarter this year. These results demonstrate the consistency of our off-price business model. Our consolidated comparable-store sales increased 2% and our adjusted earnings per share were in line with our expectations, on top of a 9% comparable-store sales increase and 63% earnings per share increase last year. Customer traffic continues to be up over significant prior-year increases, which reinforces to us that value remains top-of-mind for consumers regardless of the economic environment. Further, we were particularly pleased with our overall sales results, given the unfavorable weather in many U.S. and Canadian regions. Sales trends picked up as we exited the quarter, May is off to a strong start, and earnings comparisons ease as we move through the balance of the year. We remain extremely confident in our ability to profitably grow our business.”

For the second quarter of fiscal 2012, TJX expects diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis to be in the range of 81 cents to 86 cents, compared with 74 cnts per share last year.