TJX shares rise after earnings beat, dividend expected

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TJX Cos. shares rose 3.4% in Wednesday premarket trading after the off-price retailer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat expectations and says it expects to declare a dividend in December 2020. Net income totaled $866.7 million, or 71 cents per share, up from $828.3 million, or 68 cents per share, last year. Sales of $10.12 billion were down from $10.45 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 40 cents and sales of $9.38 billion. Comparable sales for “open-only” stores, defined as the measure of sales increase or decrease for the days that stores were operating versus the sales for the same days the previous year, fell 5%. TJX banners include TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. Some store locations were closed for a period during the quarter due to COVID-19. The company currently has about 470 stores shut due to the pandemic, mostly in Europe. TJX expects to reinstate a dividend of 26 cents per share in the fiscal fourth quarter, payable in March 2021. TJX ended the quarter with $10.6 billion in cash. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, TJX did not provide guidance, but says open-only comp store sales have fallen 7% for the first two weeks of the quarter. TJX stock has edged up 0.1% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index has gained 11.7% for the period.
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