UPDATE 1-TJX results up but sees slower sales rise
* Sees fiscal year same-store sales up 1-2 pct
* Sees FY EPS $2.66-$2.78 vs view $2.84
* Shares up 1 percent
Feb 27 (Reuters) - TJX Cos Inc, the owner of the low-price T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains, on Wednesday reported higher fourth-quarter results, but forecast a slower pace of sales growth for the new fiscal year despite opportunities it sees in e-commerce and store expansion.
TJX expects sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, to rise 1 percent to 2 percent this fiscal year, which started earlier this month, compared with a 7 percent jump last year.
The company, which sells designer clothing and home goods at significantly lower prices than department stores, has grown quickly by attracting price-conscious shoppers and expanding at home and abroad.
TJX, which does not offer e-commerce on its web site, last year acquired a small internet rival as it ramps up its ability to offer online sales. That, along with store expansion, led Chief Executive Carol Meyrowitz to say in a statement that TJX is "well on the road to being a $40 billion-plus company."
Last year, it had annual sales of $25.9 billion, double what it brought in eight years earlier and nearly as much as Macy's Inc.
TJX "still has significant opportunity to gain market share, both in the U.S. and internationally," Lazard Capital Markets analyst Jennifer Davis wrote in a note.
Meyrowitz pointed to opportunities from an expansion into more rural markets, the early success of its first Marshalls stores in Canada, where it also operates the Winners chain, and an improvement in its European business.
The retailer reported net income of $604.8 million, or 82 cents per share for the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2, compared with $475.3 million or 62 cents per share for the 13 weeks ended Jan. 28, 2012.
As previously reported, TJX's same-store sales rose 4 percent during the holiday season.
The company said that after the current quarter, it would stop reporting sales on a monthly basis, and only do so after each quarter, joining companies like Macy's and Target Corp that recently dropped monthly reports.
TJX said it plans to raise its quarterly dividend 26 percent to 14.5 cents per share.
It forecast a full-year profit of $2.66 per share to $2.78 per share, compared with Wall Street expectations of $2.84 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares were up 1 percent $44.10 in morning trading.