(Fourth quarter outlook added.)FRAMINGHAM, Mass. ( TheStreet) -- TJX ( TJX) 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 Target ( TGT) 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), 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 Saks ( SKS) and Nordstrom ( JWN) 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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