* 3rd-qtr adj earnings/share $0.75 vs est $0.74
* Sales $7 bln vs est $6.91 bln
* Maintains 4th-qtr profit forecast of $0.77-$0.80/share
(Adds details, outlook, share movement)
Nov 19 (Reuters) - Retailer TJX Cos Inc, owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, reported a better-than-expected adjusted profit and said the holiday shopping quarter was off to a strong start.
The company, which maintained its current-quarter profit forecast of 77 cents to 80 cents per share, said it was well-poised for the holiday season.
"The fourth quarter is off to a good start and we see exciting opportunities for this holiday selling season," Chief Executive Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement on Tuesday.
This year's holiday season is projected to be the toughest since the economic crisis of 2008, according to Morgan Stanley.
But analysts say lower-cost retailers such as T.J. Maxx and Ross Stores Inc are better-placed to prosper than pricier rivals, even as margins come under pressure due to heavy promotions.
TJX beat profit estimates for the second straight quarter.
The company's net income rose to $623 million, or 86 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 2, from $462 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 75 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate by 1 cent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue increased 9 percent to $7 billion, while same-store sales rose 5 percent.
The company's shares, which have risen about 50 percent in the last year, were up marginally at $62.99 in early trading.
(Reporting by Aditi Shrivastava and Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Don Sebastian)