Shares of discount apparel retailer The TJX Companies (TJX 0.16%) rose swiftly at the opening bell on Nov. 17, gaining as much as 10.5% in early trading. The big news was the company's fiscal third-quarter 2022 earnings release, which hit the market prior to trading today. There was good news all around.
TJX has been benefiting for several years from the increasing demand for discount-oriented stores. This trend hasn't slowed down at all, by the looks of the company's fiscal third-quarter 2022 earnings results. For example, sales rose 24% compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2021 and 20% over 2020. That last number is actually more telling, as it represents the company's pre-coronavirus sales levels. Like most retailers, TJX was forced to close its stores during the early days of the pandemic. And, thus, comparing fiscal 2022 to fiscal 2020 removes the anomaly year in which performance was down across most of the company's divisions.
The company's same-store sales, at locations that were open in both periods, were up 14% in the fiscal third quarter of 2022 compared to the 2020 numbers. That was the third consecutive quarter in which this comparison was in the teens, clearly demonstrating the demand for the company's offerings. Fiscal third-quarter 2022 earnings came in at $0.84 per share, up 24% compared to the $0.68 it earned in the pre-pandemic period. The company opened 19 new stores in the quarter and management believes it has ample inventory for the key holiday selling season. So things look bright from here, as well.
Investors should be pleased with TJX's results -- they were quite good. In fact, earnings were a few cents above analyst estimates as well as higher than management's own expectations. Wall Street always like to see that type of thing. However, with the future still looking quite exciting, even after the stock's notable jump today, long-term investors with a growth bias might want to take a deeper dive into TJX.