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TJX Cos. ends Q2 on high note

Framingham, Mass. - TJX Companies has a lot to celebrate upon wrapping up its first half of fiscal 2013 as the retailer is marking its seventh consecutive year of robust second quarter operating performance - companywide and by segment.

"We believe [this] demonstrates the sustainability of our sales and profit growth in both strong and weak economies," said Carol Meyrowitz, ceo, during the company's earnings call this morning.

TJX Cos.' results "significantly exceeded our original expectations, with every business posting excellent results," she added.

Net income for the quarter, ended July 28, was $421 million and diluted earnings per share were 56 cents, a 24% increase over the same period last year.

Sales rose 9% to $5.9 billion, and consolidated comps were up by 7%.

The U.S. and Canadian segments of the company also had much to boast about. Domestically, Marmxx reported an 8.8% sales increase to $3.9 billion, with comps up 7.0%. HomeGoods's sales rose 16.1% to $598 million, with comps up 9.0%. TJX Canada, which includes Winners and HomeSense, saw a 3.6% sales increase to $661 million, and a 5.0% comps jump.

For the first half of fiscal 2013, net income soared by 37% to $840 million, or EPS of $1.11 compared. Sales moved up 10% to $11.7 billion over last year, and comp sales increased 8%.

A highlight in the quarter was customer traffic, which grew both in count and variety. Meyrowitz said the company is "convinced that we will continue to attract more new and loyal customers in the U.S. and internationally with the power of our values, brand and fashion content, and wide customer demographic appeal."

A younger customer in particular has become a bigger focus for the company, as teens are frequenting the Marmaxx chains more often "without a doubt."

While HomeGoods, by nature, "doesn't have a young teen customer" yet, she continued, "don't put it past us to have something up our sleeve."

Meyrowitz said that while the company's average shoppers' ages have "always run in high 40s...our goal is to have customers of all ages and keep them over time. And we are working on that."

Encouraged by its recent performance, TJX Companies raised fiscal year guidance earnings per share by 1 cent to a range of $2.39 to $2.45. That represents a 20% to 23% increase over the prior year's adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.99 and is based upon estimated consolidated comparable store sales growth of 4% to 5%.

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