TJX Co TJX 3.70% s. on Wednesday reported a decline in fourth-quarter profit, but said that stronger customer traffic led to an increase in comparable-store sales.
TJX, the parent company of HomeGoods, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, reported net income fell 4.1% from a year earlier to $841.5 million, or 68 cents a share. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting a profit of 68 cents a share. The company’s income tax bill was 43% higher than in the previous year.
Net sales rose 1.5% to $11.13 billion, ahead of the $11 billion analysts were expecting. Sales climbed in the U.S. but fell in international divisions. When adjusting for currency fluctuations, TJX said sales rose in both international divisions.
Comparable-store sales rose 6% in the quarter featuring the holiday shopping season. Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix were expecting an increase of 3.5%.
Chief Executive Ernie Herrman said in prepared remarks that the company’s apparel and home categories were strong and that more customer traffic helped spur the comparable-sales growth.
TJX expects earnings for the current fiscal year to be between $2.55 and $2.60 a share, up from $2.43 a share earned in the year ended Feb. 2. Higher wages and freight costs are expected to put a damper on earnings growth, TJX said.
Comparable sales are expected to rise between 2% and 3%, but that range is less than the 6% growth obtained in the prior year and 4% growth in the year before that.
The company said it intends to increase its dividend to 23 cents from 19.5 cents. TJX also plans to buy back between about $1.75 billion and $2.25 billion of its shares during this fiscal year.
Shares rose 0.7% to $50.07 in Wednesday trading.