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JCP, Kohl's, Ross and TJX Boost Guidance

NEW YORK - January's wicked wintery weather was a cause of complaint for many retailers but didn't hold back JCPenney, Kohl's, Ross Stores or TJX Cos. from upping their guidance.
     Due to better-than-expected sales during the fourth quarter along with better gross margins and expense control, JCP now expects fourth quarter earnings to be in the range of $1.06 to $1.09 per share, including the previously announced one-time restructuring charges of approximately 8 cents per share. Management had previously projected 4Q earnings in the range of 90 cents to $1.00 per share.
     Buoyed by a 1.4% comp gain and 3.4% sales increase in January, Kohl's Corp. said it now expects fourth quarter EPS of $1.65 to $1.66 and fiscal year EPS of $3.64 to $3.65. The earlier guidance put 4Q at $1.62 to $1.66 and FY at $3.61 to $3.65.
     TJX Cos. credited strong sales and margins for its renewed outlook. It now expects fourth quarter EPS to be slightly above the high end of its prior prediction of 97 cents to $1.01, with a corresponding increase for the full year.
     Finally, Ross Stores fourth quarter EPS should increase 17% to 18% to $1.36 to $1.37, compared to $1.16 for last year's 4Q. Earnings for the full fiscal year are expected to jump 31% to $4.62 to $4.63, up from $3.54 from last year.

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