by Brian Lipton

TJXOff-price retailer TJX, owner of such brands as TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and Home Goods, has reported increased sales and earnings results for the first quarter ended April 30, 2016. Net sales for the first quarter of Fiscal 2017 increased 10 percent to $7.5 billion and consolidated comparable store sales increased 7 percent. Net income for the first quarter was $508 million and diluted earnings per share were $.76, a 10 percent increase over the prior year’s $.69.

The Company is raising its full year guidance to reflect its strong first quarter results. For the fiscal year ending January 28, 2017, the Company now expects diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.35 to $3.42, which would represent a 1 to 3 percent increase over $3.33 in Fiscal 2016.

“It is great to start 2016 with such a strong quarter! We are particularly pleased with our very strong customer traffic, which drove the comp increases at every division,” said CEO Ernie Herman. “This tells us that our strategies to bring consumers exciting values on an eclectic and ever-changing mix of the right fashions and brands, sourced from across the globe, are working. We are confident that we are growing our customer base and gaining market share. With our excellent first quarter results, we are raising our full year earnings per share and comp sales guidance, and the second quarter is off to a solid start.. TJX has an exciting future ahead, and we have a strategic long-term vision to grow to be a $40 billion company and beyond!”

The company now owns 3,661 stores throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and Herman later told investors that he plans for TJX to eventually own 5,600 stores, according to reports.