by Stephen Garner

img_tjxsignLeading off-price retailer The TJX Companies, Inc. has reported its sales and earnings results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending January 30. Net sales for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2016 increased 8 percent to $9 billion and consolidated comparable store sales increased 6 percent over last year’s 4 percent increase. Net income for the fourth quarter was $666 million and diluted earnings per share were $.99, a 6 percent increase over the prior year’s $.93.

For the 52-week fiscal year ending January 30, net sales were $30.9 billion, a 6 percent increase over last year. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 5 percent over last year’s 2 percent increase. Net income for the fiscal year was $2.3 billion. Diluted earnings per share were $3.33, a 5 percent increase over the prior year’s adjusted $3.16, which excluded a $.01 per share debt extinguishment charge from reported earnings per share of $3.15.

“We are extremely pleased to end another strong year with terrific fourth quarter results,” said Ernie Herrman, CEO and president of The TJX Companies, Inc. “Our fourth quarter 6% comp growth and 6% increase in earnings per share significantly exceeded our expectations. Once again, customer traffic drove our entire consolidated comp increase. It was also the primary driver of our comp increases at every division in the fourth quarter and full year as we continued delivering consumers a differentiated offering at extreme value. We are convinced that we are gaining market share profitably around the world. We were particularly pleased that our overall merchandise margin was up in the fourth quarter while we continued to offer shoppers outstanding values. For the full year, we were thrilled to surpass $30 billion in sales, achieve consolidated comp sales growth of 5%, and deliver above-plan EPS growth. The year 2015 marks our 20th consecutive year of increases in comp sales and EPS. We have sustained profitable growth through many types of economic and retail climates and in different regions around the world, and we have great confidence in the future.”

Herrman continued, “The year is off to a strong start and we have many initiatives planned to continue driving sales and traffic. Our business is very healthy, and similar to last year, our plans for earnings per share growth reflect the negative impact of foreign currency and our previously announced wage initiative. We plan to continue to balance our growth with investments, develop new seeds for growth, and strengthen our leadership positions across the globe. We now operate in nine countries, across three continents, and are excited about the opportunities we see both in our existing regions and new international markets. As always, we have a management team that is laser focused on achieving its plans and passionate about surpassing them. We are confident that we are making the right decisions and investments today that position us extremely well to continue capturing market share and reach $40 billion and beyond!”