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TJX Profit Rises, Helped by Cost Controls

TJX Cos posted a nearly 20 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday as the off-price retailer kept overhead costs in check and saw sales rise at most of its chains.

The operator of the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains said profit was $193.8 million, or 43 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended April 26, compared with $162.1 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a tax benefit, earnings were 41 cents a share, matching the average analyst forecast compiled by Reuters Estimates.

The company , which buys excess merchandise in bulk at below-wholesale prices, said its merchandise margins rose in the quarter despite higher fuel costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses were flat, it said.

Sales rose 6 percent to $4.36 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 3 percent.

The company forecast second-quarter earnings of 40 cents to 42 cents a share and a 3 percent rise in same-store sales.

For the full year, it forecast earnings of $2.20 to $2.25 a share, including the benefit of an extra week when compared with the previous year.

Analysts on average forecast second-quarter earnings of 42 cents a share and full-year earnings of $2.22 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

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