TJ Maxx Owner Plans Buybacks, Dividend Boost After Merry Holiday

(Bloomberg) -- TJX Cos., which owns the Marshalls and TJ Maxx chains, rose after it gave investors a hat-trick of good news, including a boosted dividend, planned stock buybacks and same-store sales that beat during the critical holiday quarter.

  • The company exceeded expectations on comparable sales, a closely watched measure in retail, which came in at 6 percent in the fourth quarter, exceeding analysts’ 3.5 percent estimate, according to Consensus Metrix. It forecast 2 to 3 percent same-store sales growth in the coming year, plus earnings per share about in line with analyst estimates.

Key Insights

  • Chief Executive Officer Ernie Herrman had said heading into the Christmas period that the off-price chain was focusing on gifting and marketing campaigns. It seems the spending paid off: Rising customer traffic was the “primary driver” behind the sales increases in every division, TJX said Wednesday.
  • After the better-than-expected end to the fiscal year, the company said it plans to boost its dividend by 18 percent and repurchase as much as $2.25 billion of stock this year. The company also plans to invest in the business, with new stores and remodels a priority in this coming year’s budget.
  • Still, the company is facing the same headwinds as other retailers, including soaring freight costs and rising worker wages that are weighing down margins.

Market Reaction

  • Shares rose as much as 1.3 percent in New York.
  • Read more on the results here.

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