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beat Wall Street's estimates and its own guidance in the fourth fiscal quarter by reporting earnings of 48 cents a share.

The off-price apparel retailer had net income of $135.2 million. In the year-ago quarter, TJX earned $137 million, or 44 cents a share.

First Call/Thomson Financial

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polled 16 analysts, who estimated the company would earn 46 cents a share, as TJX indicated in guidance it gave Jan. 4.

Revenue was $2.75 billion, up from $2.53 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2000. During fiscal 2001, TJX, which is based in Framingham, Mass., spent $435 million to buy back more than 22 million shares.

The company expects earnings per share to grow 15%, to $2.13, in the fiscal year ending in January 2002. The current Wall Street estimate stands at $2.11.

The company lost $1.18, or 3.7%, to $30.66 in recent

New York Stock Exchange