The TJX Companies, Inc. - Pre Recorded Sales/ Trading Statement Call

TJX Companies Inc. (TJX)

April 05, 2012 12:00 am ET


Sherry Lang - Senior Vice President of Global Communications


Sherry Lang

Good morning. This is Sherry Lang, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for the TJX Companies. Today is April 5, 2012, and I would like to welcome you to our investor call to discuss our March 2012 sales.

Before I begin, please note that the forward-looking statements I make today about the company's results, expectations and plans are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and actions to vary materially. These risks and the uncertainties are discussed in the company's SEC filings, including, without limitation, the Form 10-K filed March 27, 2012. Further, these comments are copyrighted by The TJX Companies. Any recording, rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of these comments for profit or otherwise without prior consent of TJX is prohibited and a violation of United States copyright laws. [Operator Instructions]

Now to recap the numbers. Sales for the 5-week period ended March 31, 2012, were $2.3 billion, up 14% over the $2 billion achieved during the 5-week period ended April 2, 2011. For the 9 weeks ended March 31, 2012, sales reached $4 billion, a 13% increase over last year's $3.5 billion. Consolidated comparable store sales for March 2012 increased 10%, well above our plan. For the 9-week year-to-date period, consolidated comp store sales also increased 10% over the same period last year.

It is great to see our strong momentum continue in March and be so broad-based with all divisions doing so well in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Both consolidated and Marmaxx comp store sales were up 10%, well ahead of our expectations and driven by significant increases in customer traffic. We have continued to offer the right fashion at the right price and the right time and believe that our mix has attracted customers to us. While warm weather was a positive for sales of spring apparel, sales were strong throughout the U.S., underscoring our view that the consumer wants value and is responding to the exciting shopping experience that we are offering.

It's important to note that along with our above-plan sales, there was strong flowthrough to the bottom line. Therefore, we are raising our first quarter fiscal 2013 estimated EPS range to $0.51 to $0.52 from the previous range of $0.45 to $0.47. Further, we now expect earnings per share for the full fiscal year 2013 to be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35.

Now divisional comp store sales for March were as follows. Beginning with our U.S. divisions. At the Marmaxx Group, comp store sales increased by 10% in March, which again was well above plan. I will go into further detail on Marmaxx in a moment. At HomeGoods, comp store sales increase by a strong 6% in March, over a 7% increase last year. We are particularly pleased with HomeGoods performance in March in light of the warm weather, which as I will discuss in a moment, helped apparel to outperform home at Marmaxx.

Now to TJX Canada. At Winners and HomeSense combined, comp store sales for March increased 8% over last year. We're pleased to see strong trends continued in our Canadian business. Moving to TJX Europe. At T.K. Maxx and HomeSense combined, comp store sales increased by a very strong 17% in March. We're delighted to see that customer traffic is way up and all of our European markets are performing well. To give some additional color to March's result at the Marmaxx Group, geographically, as I've mentioned, we saw strength across the country. The Northeast and Midwest outperformed the chain. The Southeast was in line with the chain. Florida and the Southwest were slightly below the chain. The West Coast, where weather was less of a factor, was quite solid but trailed the chain's average. As to merchandise categories at Marmaxx, apparel comped up 12% and Home Fashions comped up 1% in March. This points to the positive impact of the warm weather on spring apparel.

Summing up, we are looking forward to the remainder of the spring selling season and continue to believe our stores are shopping destinations with great customer appeal across the U.S., in Canada and in our European markets. To recap guidance, we are raising our outlook for first quarter fiscal 2013 estimated EPS to be in the range of $0.51 to $0.52. We now expect full year EPS for fiscal 2013 to be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35. Our first quarter guidance continues to be based on a comp sales assumption in April of flat to up 2% on both a consolidated basis and at the Marmaxx Group. We will be reporting April sales on May 3, 2012. [Operator Instructions] Thank you, and have a good day.

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