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Six Retailers Raise Guidance on March Results

Buoyed by better-than-expected sales and comp growth in March, several key retailers raised their guidance for the coming quarter, and in some cases for the year.

Here is a listing of these retailers and their revised expectations:

J.C. Penney Company: For the first quarter, comparable store sales are projected to increase approximately 2% compared to original guidance of flat to slightly positive, and total sales are also expected to increase by 2%. First quarter earnings are expected to be in the range of $0.20 to $0.24 per share compared to original guidance for earnings to be in the range of $0.16 to $0.20.Kohl’s Corp.: For the first quarter, earnings per share guidance is being raised from $0.48 to $0.52 per diluted share to a better $0.55 to $0.57 per diluted share.Macy’s Inc.: The company expects same-store sales in April to be about flat to last year, which would generate a same-store sales increase of approximately 5% for the first quarter.Ross Stores: Same store sales are now expected to grow 5% to 6% in April and 3% to 4% in the second quarter. Earnings per share for the 13 weeks ending May 1 are forecasted to be $1.14 to $1.16, up from prior guidance of $.92 to $.95. For the second quarter ending July 31, earnings per share are projected to be $.95 to $.99, up 16% to 21% from the prior year, versus the earlier projection for a low double-digit percentage gain. Additionally, for the full fiscal year ended Jan. 29, 2011, Ross is forecasting earnings per share of $4.09 to $4.24, up 16% to 20% over last year, compared to prior projections of $3.80 to $3.95.Target Corp.: For the first quarter, Target expects earnings per share to exceed by 10 cents or more the current First Call median estimate of 74 cents.TJX Companies: For the first quarter, the raised guidance is $0.76 to $0.79 in earnings per share from continuing operations, representing an increase of 55% to 61% over $0.49 last year. TJX said this range is based upon a raised expectation for first quarter consolidated comparable store sales growth of 8% to 9%. The company also raised its guidance for fiscal 2011, with earnings per share from continuing operations to the range of $3.17 to $3.31, up 12% to 17% over $2.84 in fiscal 2010.

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