FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) -- TJX Cos., the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls clothing stores, said Thursday that its January sales at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent, falling short of Wall Street predictions,
Still, TJX boosted its profit outlook for the fourth quarter and full year.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of 3.5 percent. Those comparable-store sales are a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed.
TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz said 3 percent growth was better than the company expected and came from an increase in traffic.
For the five-week period ended Feb. 2, TJX's total sales increased 36 percent to $1.9 billion.
Fourth-quarter comparable-store sales rose 4 percent. For the full year TJX posted a 7 percent increase in comparable-store sales, while total sales rose 12 percent to $25.9 billion.
The company boosted its fourth-quarter profit prediction to 80 cents or 81 cents per share from its previous range of 77 cents or 78 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expect 78 cents per share.
For the full year, TJX said it now expects earnings of $2.53 or $2.54 per share, up from its previous estimate of $2.50 or $2.51 per share. Analysts expect $2.51 per share.
Framingham, Mass.-based TJX runs 1,036 T.J. Maxx, 904 Marshalls, and 415 HomeGoods stores in the U.S.; 222 Winners, 88 HomeSense, and 14 Marshalls stores in Canada and 343 T.K. Maxx and 24 HomeSense stores in Europe.
TJX shares fell 40 cents to $45.05 in morning trading amid a broader market decline.