2 Retail Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs: TJX, LTD

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of the following retail stocks hit 52-week highs on Monday: TJX ( TJX) and Limited Brands ( LTD).

Both stocks received buy ratings from TheStreet Ratings.

TJX

The home fashions retailer reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $475.3 million, or 62 cents a share, up from year-ago earnings of $334.4 million, or 42 cents.

"TJX noted that significant traffic opportunities still exist even in the U.S. where only 25% of adults have shopped at TJ Maxx or Marshalls in the past year, as where the number is much higher for department stores," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report. "By division, we are modeling comps up 3% for Marmaxx (guidance for up 1-2%), up 2% at HomeGoods (guidance up 1-2%), up 3% at TJX Canada (guidance up 2-3%), and up 5% at TJX Europe (guidance up 4-5%). For Q1 2012, we are modeling comps up 4%, also in line with guidance for up 2-4%."

Shares of TJX hit a 52-week high Monday of $36.75. The stock's 52-week low of $24.13 was set on March 18.

TJX has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 14.26; the average for apparel retailers is 16.52. For comparison, Kohl's ( KSS) has a lower forward P/E of 9.21; Ross Stores' ( ROST) forward P/E is 16.25.

Twenty of the 31 analysts who cover TJX rated it buy; 11 analysts gave it a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives TJX an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $47.16 price target. The stock has risen 13.75% year to date.

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Limited Brands

The retailer reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $359.4 million, or $1.17 a share, down from year-ago earnings of $452.3 million, or $1.36.

"While modestly disappointed by gross margin decline, we note that Limited's performance compares favorably to peers (retailer average of 100-150bp gross margindecline this 4Q.)," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 23 report.

Shares of Limited Brands hit a 52-week high Monday of $46.90. The stock's 52-week low of $27.44 was set on March 15.

Limited Brands has a forward P/E of 14.68; the average for apparel retailers is 16.52. For comparison, both Guess? ( GES) and Express ( EXPR) have lower forward P/Es of 10.79 and 12.39, respectively.

Analysts were split on Limited Brands with 12 rating it buy and another 12 rating it hold. One analyst gave the stock a sell rating.

Limited Brands gets a B grade from TheStreet Ratings with a buy rating and a $59.05 price target. The stock has risen 16.06% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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