(Fourth quarter outlook added.)



) --


(TJX) - Get Report

is proving it

really is all about price.

The off-price retailer reported a hefty 31% gain in second-quarter profit, one of the few to actually see both earnings and sales grow in the quarter. Still, investors sent shares of the company down 4% to $33.99 in morning trading, as fourth-quarter forecast, which includes holidays, was below estimates.

The share decline is surprising, considering discounter


(TGT) - Get Report

reported its eighth consecutive profit drop

and saw same-store sales topple 6.2%, but shares still rose 5% this morning.

TJX earned $261.6 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $200.2 million, or 45 cents, in the year-ago period. Results beat Wall Street's expectations by a penny.

Sales rose 4% to $4.75 billion from $4.55 billion, while consolidated same-store sales jumped 4%. By division, T.J. Maxx and Marshals combined saw comparable sales increase 4% and the Home Goods unit jumped 9%.

Looking ahead, TJX expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.26 to $2.38 a share, in-line with analysts' estimates.

For the fourth quarter management forecast earnings between 55 and 61 cents a share. Analysts were looking for a profit of 64 cents.

Not even

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report

, which has gained shoppers who are trading down amid the recession, has performed as well as TJX. Last week

Wal-Mart saw its profit remain steady

, but sales still slid 1.4%.

And it looks like luxury retailers like





(JWN) - Get Report

are losing shoppers to the company, as well.

Saks widened its loss

in the second quarter, while

Nordstrom reported a 26.5% downturn

in its second-quarter profit,

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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