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Tickers in this Article: TJX, KSS
Consolidated same-store sales at The TJX Companies Inc. (TJX), an off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, climbed 3.0% year over year in the four-week period ended November 24, 2012. As for total sales, it climbed 7.0% year over year for the aforementioned period to $2.2 billion. Comparable sales jumped once again on the back of higher customer traffic. Robust sales in the Thanksgiving week also provided a boost. As for the 43-week period ended November 24, 2012, comparable sales climbed 7% from the year-ago period. Total sales for the same period went up 10.0% year over year to $20.3 billion.

Further, this leading off-price retailer experienced 11.0% increase in total net sales to $6.41 billion in the third quarter of 2013, driven by solid growth in consolidated comparable store sales of 7.0%. Comparable store sales exceeded management's expectations of 2% to 4% on the back of strong performance at all the stores in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Further, well-chosen stocks at the stores improved customer traffic during the period.

Guidance

The company expects the upcoming holiday season to fuel December comparable store sales.

Moreover, the company raised its consolidated comparable store sales growth expectation to a range of 5% to 6% for fiscal 2013, up from the previous guidance of 4% to 5%. Consolidated comparable store sales are expected in the range of flat to 2% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

Our Recommendation

Over the long-term, the stock has a Neutral recommendation. Currently, TJX carries a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating) as it posted decent third quarter results and has been reporting an increase in comparable store sales for the past several quarters, driven by higher demand and increased consumer traffic. However, its close competitor, Kohl's Corporation (KSS) carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) and posted a decline in comparable store sales and total sales for the month of November.

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