TJX earnings beat expectations though COVID-related store closures still weigh

TJX Cos. reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $533.9 million, or 44 cents per share, after a loss of $887.5 million, or 74 cents per share, last year. Sales of $10.09 billion were up from $4.41 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 31 cents and sales of $8.61 billion. All U.S. stores were operating during the quarter, but the off-price retailer still had locations shuttered in other regions for 14% of the days in the first quarter due to COVID-19. European locations were closed for 76% of the days, and Canadian stores were closed 25%. Still, it was a marked improvement from last year when stores around the world were shut for half the days. Three hundred locations around the globe are currently temporarily closed. Open-only comp store sales were up 16% in the most recent quarter. Open-only comp store sales only account for the days when stores were open during fiscal Q1 2022 and the same period in fiscal 2020. Due to the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, TJX did not provide guidance. However, the company said open-only comp store sales at the start of the second quarter have been similar to the first quarter. The TJX lineup includes TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. TJX stock slipped 0.9% in Wednesday premarket trading, but is up 4.2% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has gained 9.9% for 2021 so far.

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