Saks beats Street, while TJX outlook disappoints

(Reuters) - Saks Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, while TJX, which won market share from the upscale retailer and major department stores in the recession, gave a forecast suggesting its recent growth pace may cool.

Saks
Photo : saks.com

TJX Cos Inc (TJX.N), whose chains include T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, said sales at stores open at least a year rose 9 percent in the quarter. But it forecast increases of only 2 percent to 4 percent for the current period and 2 percent to 3 percent for the full year.

Saks (SKS.N) said its same-store sales were up 6.1 percent in the quarter and would rise by a mid-single-digit percentage rate for the full year. The company is benefiting from easier comparisons with a year ago, when luxury spending collapsed.

"We still believe the overall environment remains uncertain," Saks Chief Executive Stephen Sadove said in a statement.

TJX OUTLOOK FALLS SHORT

TJX reported net income of $331.4 million, or 80 cents per share, for the first quarter ended May 1, up from $209.2 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected 78 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

But for the current quarter, TJX forecast earnings of 67 cents to 72 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 72 cents.

For the full year, TJX said it expected a profit of $3.21 to $3.32 per share, while analysts were expecting $3.35.

"Consumers remain focused on value in both weak and strong economic environments." TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz said.

Saks reported net income of $18.8 million, or 11 cents per share, for its first quarter, which also ended on May 1. It had posted a loss of $5.1 million, or 4 cents per share, for the year-earlier period.

Excluding severance and store closing costs, Saks' profit was 12 cents per share, 7 cents above the analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales at Saks were up 6.9 percent to $667.4 million. Gross margins rose 4.4 percent to 43.1 percent, as the company sold more merchandise at full price.

Saks shares were down 1.4 percent at $9.21 in morning trading, while TJX fell 2.4 percent to $44.17.

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