FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - TJX, parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls clothing stores, said Wednesday that its net income climbed 27 percent in the fourth quarter as more shoppers headed to its stores during the crucial holiday season.
Its performance beat Wall Street's expectations. It plans to raise its dividend and increased its stock buyback authority.
The Framingham, Mass., company also said it will stop reporting monthly sales results, starting with fiscal 2014's second quarter.
For the period ended Feb. 2, TJX Cos. earned $604.8 million, or 82 cents per share. That compares with $475.3 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 80 cents per share.
Revenue increased 15 percent to $7.72 billion from $6.71 billion, topping Wall Street's estimate of $7.67 billion.
Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, rose 4 percent. But the growth was slower than the 7 percent increase in the year-ago period.
This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
Full-year net income rose 27 percent to $1.91 billion, or $2.55 per share, from $1.5 billion, or $1.93 per share, in the prior year.
Annual revenue climbed 12 percent to $25.88 billion from $23.19 billion.
Revenue at stores open at least a year increased 7 percent.
TJX also announced that it plans to buy back about $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion of its common stock for the fiscal year ending Feb. 1, 2014. It has $925 million remaining under an existing repurchase program. The company's board approved a new program to buy back as much as an additional $1.5 billion shares of its common stock.
TJX also said it plans to boost its quarterly dividend by 26 percent to 14.5 cents per share. The planned increase would be for the dividend to be declared in April and payable in June.
Looking ahead, TJX expects fiscal 2014 earnings between $2.66 and $2.78 per share. It predicts first-quarter earnings in a range of 59 cents to 62 cents per share.
Analysts forecast full-year earnings of $2.80 per share and first-quarter earnings of 63 cents per share.
TJX has 1,036 T.J. Maxx, 904 Marshalls, 415 HomeGoods and 4 Sierra Trading Post 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.
The stock added 45 cents to $44.12 in morning trading Wednesday. Its shares traded as low as $36.50 in March and are nearing their high for the past year of $46.67, reached late last August.